Simone Biles’ Courageous Exit from the Olympics’ Finals Puts Focus Mental Health


U.S. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles has become a role model for prioritizing her own mental health over a medal.

On Wednesday morning, Biles announced that she would not participate in the Olympic finals. The reason? To focus on her mental health.

A statement issued from the governing body read “After a further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health.”

For years, Biles was one of the very best at focusing on winning gold. Dominating the Games. However, with Biles being the centerpiece of the Olympics, for Team USA, the pressure took a toll, and as the gymnast was doing her first rotation of Tuesday’s finals, she bailed midair on her standard vault, a two-and-a-half twisting Yurchenko, lost track of her own motion and finished just one-and-a-half twist.

Her decision to no longer participate in the finals led to a discussion on mental health. Something that isn’t quite spoken about at the games. This started conversations among her fellow Olympians on the hardships of performing on the world’s biggest stage.

“I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times,” wrote Biles in a post on Instagram. “I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but d*mn sometimes it’s hard hahaha!”



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A post shared by Simone Biles (@simonebiles)


Biles has since been showered with love and support from her family, friends, Olympians, fans and celebrities.

“I’m really proud of her. I think she’s setting a really strong example for other athletes as well,” Canada’s trampolinist Rosie MacLennan told CBC News.

Former Olympian gymnast Nastia Liukin wrote a heartfelt thank-you letter to Biles on Instagram for showing who she is beyond an athlete.

“Thank you for showing the depth of who you are beyond an athlete as a leader, role model, mental health warrior and person,” she wrote. “Thank you for taking the sport of gymnastics to new heights as the unanimous GOAT.

“You came here as a gymnast, and you’re leaving as a hero.”



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A post shared by Nastia Liukin (@nastialiukin)


Peaches singer Justin Bieber also shared his thoughts, saying how proud he is of the Olympian’s withdrawal.

“Sometimes our no’s are more powerful than our yes’s. When what you normally love starts to steal your joy it’s important we take a step back to evaluate why.”



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A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber)


Biles also cited Japanese American tennis champion Naomi Osaka as an inspiration, the tennis champion who withdrew from two Grand Slam tournaments earlier this year to focus on her mental health.



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