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.
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.”
Every man shitting on Simone Biles today should be forced to perform the least difficult Olympic balance beam routine live on national tv.
— Katelyn Burns (@transscribe) July 28, 2021
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.
honestly Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka’s “actually, I don’t belong to you, I belong to myself, and if I don’t put my own wellbeing first no one else will” energy is what I want to manifest in the next year
every time a woman publicly stops giving fucks, we all level up a notch pic.twitter.com/tDdSfDwLDR
— Claire Willett (@clairewillett) July 28, 2021
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.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) July 28, 2021
“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.
— Dr Nisreen Alwan 🌻 (@Dr2NisreenAlwan) July 27, 2021