Simone Biles ‘not in right head space’ to compete at Olympics

American gymnast Simone Biles pulled out of the team gymnastic finals at the Tokyo Olympics for mental health reasons.

Supporters are rallying behind Olympic gymnast Simone Biles following her exit from the gymnastics team final on Tuesday night after she said he was not mentally prepared to continue.

Biles left the final minutes in after struggling with her first vault and failing to stick the landing.

Simone Biles and coach Olympics exit
Image: AP

USA Gymnastics initially said her withdrawal was down to a “medical issue”, but she later said it was due to her own mental health concerns.

After the performance I did I just didn’t want to go on,” said Biles when she met with media.

I do not trust myself anymore, I tried to go out there for the team and they stepped up to the plate.”

Although not competing, the gymnast cheered on her teammates, who went on to claim silver behind the Russian Olympic Committee.

It’s just me in my head,” she said. “I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardise my health and wellbeing.”

We have to protect our body and our mind.”

Biles’s status for the rest of the Games remains uncertain ahead of the women’s all-around gymnastics final on Thursday.

Biles isn’t the only athlete to speak out on prioritising mental health in sport.

Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open in May and missed Wimbledon, saying she had been battling depression and anxiety.

The Tokyo Olympics is Osaka’s first, and she played a starring role at the opening ceremony by lighting the Olympic cauldron.

As the country’s poster athlete for the Games, the huge expectations were hard to handle.

I definitely feel like there was a lot of pressure for this,” said Osaka.

I think it’s maybe because I haven’t played in the Olympics before and for the first year (it) was a bit much.

Many public figures have taken to social media to praise the athletes for prioritising their mental health, including Michelle Obama.