American artistic gymnastics treasure Simone Biles stunned hopefuls when she pulled out of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics finals as of late. She cited “fighting demons” for her exit.
Michelle Obama, Hoda Kotb, and more emotionally responded to Simone Biles' withdrawal from Tokyo Olympics final. Sportswriter Ian Herbert shared Biles’ press conference on Twitter and tweeted about the main reason for her decision.
“One of the most remarkable mixed zone press conferences I’ve known. In which Simone Biles described pulling out of tonight’s team event because she had to put her mental health first,” he wrote.
Simone Biles competes on the vault during the Women's Senior competition of the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships at the Sprint Center on August 11, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri | Photo: Getty Images
Herbert explained the youngster revealed that tennis star Naomi Osaka among others, inspired her. He also shared a video of Biles further explaining her choice:
“To focus on my well-being. There's more to life than just gymnastics, and it is unfortunate that it had to happen at this stage, but I have to take it one day at a time, and we will see how the rest goes."
In a retweet by Herbert on the same post, he shared the 24-year-old's mindset on the Olympic Games as she revealed she was not having as much fun. She wanted to be herself but felt as if she was doing it for other people and that it hurts to feel that way.
The athlete's withdrawal was well received by many people who rooted for her, including prominent figures such as the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.
“Am I good enough? Yes, I am. The mantra I practice daily. @Simone_Biles, we are proud of you, and we are rooting for you. Congratulations on the silver medal, Team USA!” Obama tweeted.
The “Today” show co-host Hoda Kotb praised Biles for sharing her truth and stated, “someone said it best. @Simone_Biles already won. She is a class act.”
Kotb admired Biles for her sportsmanship because after she withdrew from the competition, she stayed on to be a cheerleader for her fellow teammates and encouraged them.
Former figure skater Adam Rippon empathized with Biles and said, "I can't imagine the pressure Simone has been feeling. I am sending her SO much love. It is easy to forget she's still human. WE LOVE YOU."
TV show host Andy Cohen tweeted, "We love you @Simone_Biles!!! While sharing the US flag emoji. Singer-songwriter Janet Jackson took to Instagram and expressed support for Biles.
“Sending you love and prayers to you @SimoneBiles. Putting your mental health 1st IS putting you 1st. I stand with you," Jackson wrote alongside a photo of Biles flashing in a black crop top and stone-washed ripped jeans.
Biles dropped out from the team competition on Tuesday, July 27. She gave a tearful explanation for her withdrawal and shared it was not injury-related but that she struggled with mental health issues.
"Just my pride is hurt a little bit," she told reporters. "After the performance that I did, I didn't want to go into other events, so I thought I would take a step back," she added.
The World Champion shared she has been seeing a therapist to help battle her “demons” to avoid jeopardizing her health and well-being.
In an interview following the news of her withdrawal, she told Kotb that she is physically in good shape but cannot say the same about her emotional well-being.
The gold medalist admitted that being a head star at the Olympics “is not an easy feat” and is trying to take it one day at a time to see how it goes.
Biles left the competition floor with Team USA medical trainer after her first rotation on the vault. Fellow athlete Jordan Chiles then replaced her, and the team went on to win silver.
Biles was elated over the teams’ achievement and showed enthusiasm by praising her teammates for their amazing performance after she withdrew.
She took to Instagram writing, “OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALISTS,” alongside a snapshot of her teammates Chiles, Suni Lee, and Grace McCallum.
Biles mentioned how proud she is of the girls and deemed them "incredibly brave and talented." She added she would forever be inspired by their determination not to give up. "They stepped up when I couldn't," she continued and thanked them for being there for her.
Biles is a phenomenal gymnast and is regarded as "the most decorated female gymnast ever." Dubbed as the "GOAT," she has 30 World and Olympic medals under her belt.
Biles has won 25 World medals, including 19 golds making the track record the most in gymnastic history. In 2016 during the Olympic Games in Rio, Biles became the first female US gymnast to win four gold medals at a single Games.
The sports star began her athletic journey following a field trip in daycare. She was born in Columbus, Ohio, and now resides in Houston, Texas.
When Biles was only six years old, she went on a daycare field trip to Bannon’s Gymnastix outside of Houston and imitated the more senior gymnasts.
That's where coaches spotted her talent and wrote to her parents suggesting she take up the sport, and she has been flourishing in her field ever since.
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