Simone Biles prioritized her mental health when she withdrew from the team final at the 2021 Olympics.
Simone Biles withdrew from the women’s gymnastics team final due to what was called a medical issue. After Team USA won silver, with Biles cheering on her teammates from the sideline in her warmups, she clarified her withdrawal was due to her prioritizing her mental health.
Biles previously revealed she was feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders as she attempted to add to her medal count and further cement her status as the undisputed greatest gymnast of all time.
Why did Simone Biles stop competing?
The New York Times reports, Biles said she began “fighting all of those demons,” before deciding to withdraw in a move she said was right for her.
“At the end of the day, I have to do what was right for me” by walking away.
Biles was in her warmups as she hugged her Team USA teammates as they competed for the gold. Her vault did help the USA capture the silver, however.
“After the performance I did, I just didn’t want to go on,” Biles said, via the BBC. “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,” she continued. “There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world. We’re not just athletes; we’re people at the end of the day, and sometimes you just have to step back. I didn’t want to go out and do something stupid and get hurt…. At the end of the day, we don’t want to be carried out of there on a stretcher.”
Simone Biles puts her mental health first
The 24-year-old Biles is much older than your typical gymnast, but she previously said she wanted to compete as a show of strength for the fellow assault victims of Larry Nassar. Biles previously expressed she was depressed after experiencing the sexual abuse at the hands of the former USA gymnastics doctor.
It’s unclear if she will compete in Thursday’s all-around competition.
Biles was showered with love, support and praise on Twitter after she withdrew from the team event. After she expressed the need to prioritize her mental health, she tweeted a white heart.
Her sister Adria tweeted about the importance of mental health and recognizing and supporting those who are struggling.
Simone Biles didn’t quit on her team, she saved it
Biles struggled in the qualifying earlier in the week, in what now could have been a sign she was battling something viewers could not see through their screens.
Don’t say she quit on her team.
Biles may have helped save the silver medal for Team USA in a thread Yahoo! Dan Wetzel explains. Through her selfless decision to sacrifice personal glory to preserve team glory, Biles withdrew, trusted her teammates and supported them in their quest.
Biles follows tennis superstar Naomi Osaka who withdrew from the French Open due to mental health reasons as prominent athletes to put their mental health first. Biles and Osaka having the courage to talk about their mental health will embolden more athletes to put their mental health first and not suffer in silence.
Bravo Simone Biles.