Earlier this week, Simone Biles' decision to withdraw from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games shook the world. It's safe to say everyone had an opinion on it but now, new details about her decision have surfaced, proving just how important her choice was.
Biles released an emotional statement shortly after her withdrawal discussing how she'd come to the conclusion she needed to withdraw from the competition in order to better focus on her mental wellbeing.
"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. I don't trust myself as much anymore... maybe it's getting older. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world. We are not just athletes, we're people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back. I did not want to go out and do something stupid and get hurt. I feel like a lot of athletes speaking up has really helped. It's so big, it's the Olympic Games, at the end of the day we don't want to be carried out of there on a stretcher. You have to be there 100 percent or 120 percent or you're going to hurt yourself," she said, as per Sky Sports.
After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition.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 prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many. pic.twitter.com/6ILdtSQF7o
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) July 28, 2021
In spite of the support of her peers, there were some who decided to question Biles' decision. Never one to keep quiet, well-known gymnastics expert Piers Morgan was quick to criticize, writing on Twitter: "Are 'mental health issues' now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport? What a joke. Just admit you did badly, made mistakes, and will strive to do better next time. Kids need strong role models, not this nonsense."
But alongside these comments, there have been others who have spoken up for Biles. "One former U.S elite gymnast I talked to said that if it was someone other than Simone Biles who had made that same error, they would have certainly blown a knee, at minimum. Another said if it had happened to her instead of Simone, 'I probably would have ended up paralyzed,'" one informative Twitter thread stated.
And it seems Biles is enjoying the outpouring of support. In fact, she's been liking a series of Tweets explaining just how high the stakes were for the athlete, including one explaining she could "literally die" doing her sport.
I don't think people realize that of simone biles isn't feeling right mentally she can literally die doing her gymnastics. that's how hard the shit she does is. one wrong move and it's disaster. she did the right thing and I hope she'll be okay
— 𓆉 (@ungodlywests) July 27, 2021
The team went on to bag the silver medal without Biles, proving she absolutely made the correct decision. We hope Biles is feeling proud of herself for setting such a positive example and prioritizing self-care!