By: Natasha Archary
Simone Biles, 24-year old US gold medal gymnastic champion has decided to end her Tokyo Olympic ambitions and focus on her mental health.
USA Gymnastics released this statement: “After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition. We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritising her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”
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In a post-interview as reported by Sky Sports, Simone expressed that while she was not physically injured, her pride took a small hit.
“No. Just a little injury to my pride. After the performance I did, I just didn’t want to go on. I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now. We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.”
“We are not just athletes, we’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back,” Simone Biles expressed with fans.
Simone is yet to decide whether she is going to withdraw entirely from her four individual finals which are scheduled for next week.
At 24, Simone is the most successful US gymnast of all time having won four gold medals and a bronze at the 2016 Games. Her opening vault, which scored 13.766, was the lowest mark of the first rotation and she huddled with her trainer afterwards before exiting.
Messages of support from fans around the world have come in strong for the young athlete:
— Max Whitlock MBE (@maxwhitlock1) July 28, 2021
— R Burgess Gatling (@rbgatling6) July 28, 2021
Well done Simone Biles for being so open about her mental health and prioritising her recovery. A true champion
— John Crace (@JohnJCrace) July 28, 2021