Simone Biles Is Grateful For the Outpouring of “Love and Support” She’s Received at the Olympics

Fitness

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 28: Simone Biles of Team United States blows a kiss whilst watching the Men's All-Around Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles withdrew from the July 27 artistic gymnastics team final and the July 29 all-around final at the Tokyo Olympics due to her mental health. Following her decision and backlash from a select few individuals (who could not even dream of doing a simple cartwheel, by the way), in solidarity, fans, fellow athletes, and celebrities offered words of support for the gymnast.

“The outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before,” Biles wrote on Twitter in response to the support.

In a time when athletes are told to compete at all costs, Biles’s decision to withdraw — which came not long after tennis champion Naomi Osaka pulled out of interviews at the French Open due to her mental health and was fined $15,000 — proves that prioritizing mental health, particularly in a sport as dangerous as gymnastics, is never a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.

The love, support, and admiration people have for Biles will always override the ignorance of those who feel it’s their right to disagree with such a personal decision.

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