Simone Biles: US backs top gymnast after pulling out of two Olympic finals in Tokyo to focus on mental health

Simone Biles: US backs top gymnast after pulling out of two Olympic finals in Tokyo to focus on mental health

The US divisions are huge, but the country seems to have come together to support Simone Biles, one of the most famous athletes in the world.

The American gymnast superstar withdrawn from two events to Tokyo Olympics – the women’s team final on Tuesday then the women’s all-around competition on Thursdayfocus on their sanity.

The 24-year-old retired after a rotation of the team final as the United States took silver, behind the Russian Olympic Committee.

Biles (R) and her American teammates won silver medals in the team event

An error opening her safe had prompted her to leave the arena with a team medic.

Amid fears of injury, Biles returned to support her colleagues, and she later revealed that she made her decision to quit due to a desire to protect her sanity.

In a statement released Wednesday, USA Gymnastics said: “After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles withdrew from the all-around final.

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and salute her bravery by putting her well-being first. Her courage shows, once again, why she is a role model for so many people. “

And there has been little public condemnation of her withdrawal, with celebrities as disparate as former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and former UFC fighter and Olympic judo medalist Ronda Rousey declaring their support.

Justin Bieber said he was’ proud ‘of her and recalled that he was previously labeled’ crazy ‘for not completing a tour, but that it was’ the best thing I could have done. for my mental health ”.

Mia Farrow told him it “takes strength to admit weakness” while fellow Farrow actress Viola Davis called Biles a “champion”, “game changer” and “rule breaker” .

TV presenter Jameela Jamil called Biles’ sanity “royalty” in a Twitter post.

Maybe people listened to her teammate Jordan Chiles, who took Biles’ place, when she said the medal was “definitely for her. [Biles], because without it, we wouldn’t be here ”.

Its removal came as a huge shock across the world, but for Sports Illustrated chief copying Julie Kliegman, the signs had been there for some time.

When she interviewed Biles, About a year ago, the holder of four gold medals at the Rio 2016 Games “decided whether or not to participate in Tokyo” and admitted that the mental challenge was “much more difficult” than the physical challenge.

Her removal “makes sense,” she told Sky News, when Biles is remembered as a survivor of the U.S. team’s pedophile doctor, Larry Nassar.

“Trauma is a very serious thing and I’m sure she’s dealing with it in her own way,” Kliegman added.

Simone Biles looks distraught after retiring from the women’s team final. Photo: United States Today

It’s easy to overlook the physical risks gymnasts take and Kleigman said that was a big concern.

“She said after one of her jumps that she didn’t really know where she was in the air and that it’s incredibly dangerous. If you are not in the right free space in gymnastics, you are really putting your body at risk. “

Kliegman is adamant what Biles did was the opposite of letting her teammates down because “to compete when she would have put her body in danger and risk a medal chance, it wouldn’t have been very fair for his team “.

“We saw her on the sidelines cheering them on and I think what she did was put them in a better position to win a medal, which they ultimately did. “

USA Gymnastics said Biles has yet to decide to withdraw from his four individual finals, which are scheduled to take place next week.

So, does Kliegman think Biles, arguably the greatest gymnast of all time, will compete in Tokyo again?

Biles in happier times with one of his four gold medals at Rio 2016. Photo: AP

“At this point, I’d bet she’s more likely to leave them out.

“We saw that she was going to put her well-being first, so I think it’s more likely than not that she won’t attend the remaining events. ”


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