Simple Biles message melts shocked supporters

2 months ago 20
PR Distribution

By George Vlotis and Melanie Dinjaski

US gymnastics hero Simone Biles has expressed her appreciation for the support she has received since her shock withdrawal from the Olympics this week to focus on her mental health.

The 24-year-old US star, considered to be arguably the greatest gymnasts of all time, was seen huddling with a trainer after landing awkwardly off the vault during the team event in Tokyo. She then exited the competition floor with the team doctor.

After initial reports of an ankle injury, it was later revealed that Biles had been struggling with her mental health throughout the Games, so much so that she made the heartbreaking decision to step aside out of fear costing the USA a medal.

Simone Biles of USA nearly falls during the gymnastics artistic Women's Team Final. (Getty)

There have been some cruel reactions slamming Biles for "quitting" but the majority of the international sports community have rallied around the gymnast and backed her decision to prioritise her mental health.

Today Biles wrote how moved she had been by the response to her mental health battle in a short message posted on Twitter.

"The outpouring love and support I've received has made me realise I'm more than my accomplishments and gymnastics, which I never truly believed before," she said.

The tweet was promptly retweeted, liked and commented on by hundreds of thousands of sympathetic fans.

At the Tokyo Games, Biles is not the only Olympic athlete to frankly admit they were not coping with the pressures of the competition, and volunteered to step aside for their own mental health - an area of professional sports which has been identified as a serious issue nowadays.

"Mental health over the last 18 months is something people are talking about," swimming legend Michael Phelps said on NBC's coverage after Biles' withdrawal.

"We're human beings. Nobody is perfect. So yes, it is OK not to be OK.

Simone Biles of Team US reacts during the Women's Team Final (Getty)

"The easiest way for me to say this is athletes, and Olympic athletes in general... we need someone who we can trust, somebody that can let us be ourselves and listen. Allow us to become vulnerable. Somebody who's not going to try to fix us.

"We carry a lot of weight on our shoulders, and it's challenging.

"Especially when we have the lights on us and all of these expectations that are being thrown on top of us.

"I hope this is an eye-opening experience, I really do.

The United States team with their silver medals on the podium, Jordan Chiles, Simone Biles, Grace. McCallum and Sunisa Lee (Getty)

"I hope this is an opportunity for us to jump on board, and to even blow this mental health thing even more wide open. It is so much bigger than we can ever imagine.

"It's so important, especially to teach kids at a young age, to take control of their physical and mental health.

"You guys hear me talk about that so much - if we're not taking care of both, how are we ever expecting to be 100 per cent?"

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