Simone Biles has posted an emotional response to the ongoing support she has received following her decision to withdraw from the Olympic gymnastics all-around final.
The 24-year-old has been pretty vocal about her decision during press opportunities in Tokyo and she has now addressed her supporters directly on social media.
Why has Simone Biles withdrawn?
Biles first withdrew from the artistic gymnastics team final on Tuesday after her routine on the vault left her visibly disappointed, having registered her lowest ever score on the apparatus.
She briefly left the floor with her coach before Team USA announced she would not be continuing in the event.
Biles is taking time to focus on her mental health after admitting she felt "the weight of the world" on her shoulders in an Instagram post following her less than perfect preliminary performance.
After withdrawing from the team final, the US gymnastics team reported Biles would be "assessed daily" to determine her involvement in the upcoming individual events. However, following further medical evaluation, she has not been deemed fit enough to take part in the individual all-around final.
What has been said about Simone Biles' withdrawal?
An outpour of support continues to reach Biles, who is the world's most decorated gymnast.
From fellow gymnast Max Whitlock to Manchester United's Paul Pogba – there is support in abundance for the four-time Olympic champion.
Michael Phelps spoke on his own mental health battles during his competitive years and told NBC: "We're humans, right? We're human beings. Nobody is perfect so yes, it is OK to not be OK."
Michelle Obama took to Twitter to directly back Biles and show support for both her and Team USA Gymnastics.
Former hockey gold medallist Samantha Quek spoke on air about the gymnast's decision to pull out of the competition and blasted critics who were questioning her strength to compete.
These high profile celebrities are just a few of thousands to place a hand on Biles' shoulder and give a friendly whisper in her ear to let her know she isn't alone in this battle.
What was Simone Biles' reaction?
Biles has broken her Twitter silence since Team USA made the decision to pull her from the team final on Tuesday.
In an emotional and heartfelt post, the 24-year-old wrote: "The outpouring of love & support I’ve received has made me realise I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before."
For successful athletes, being expected to constantly achieve perfect results can really take its toll and often, it provides a test for the competitor in question. Some use the pressure to their advantage and go on to break records, but others feel no other option but to rest and gain their mental strength back safely.
This does not mean the athlete is weak. Nor does it mean they are incapable of continuing in their respective sport. Biles is just one of many household names to come forward about mental health struggles in the recent months. Their braveness is starting to chip away at the stigma.News Now - Sport News