Simone Biles decided to withdraw from the 2020 Olympics that left many shocked

Simone Biles has withdrawn from the women’s individual all-around final at the Tokyo Olympics “to focus on her mental health”, USA Gymnastics has announced.

The American pulled out after one rotation of the women’s team final on Tuesday, citing mental health concerns. The USA team got in a replacement for her in the three concluding routines on the uneven bars, beam, and floor.

Biles explained that she was not injured but had made the decision to “protect” her mental health.

She was quoted saying: (h/t SkySports)

“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. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world.”

The Americans finished second to win silver – with Biles earning a medal – behind the Russian Olympic Committee team who won gold. Great Britain finished 3rd.

USA Gymnastics also produced an official statement of her withdrawal on Twitter saying:

“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition. We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”

Biles’ decision comes in the aftermath of tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrawing from the French Open and Wimbledon for similar reasons. Osaka was given a lot of support from the sports world and returned for the Olympics, where she was unfortunately eliminated.

“It’s been really stressful this Olympic Games. Just as a whole, not having an audience. There are a lot of different variables going into it. It’s been a long week. It’s been a long Olympic process and a long year.”

Osaka was fined for not attending a pre-match conference at Roland Garros, but people applauded her bravery for revealing her ‘personal issues.’

She is out of the Olympics after losing in the Round of 16 in stunning fashion to the disappointment of the home fans in Tokyo.

Simone Biles career

At the age of 24, Biles has already won five Olympic medals. Biles won her first U.S. all-around title in 2013. She is a 6-time National champion winning in — in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2021. 

Biles has 25 World medals, 19 gold, more than any other gymnast in history. She made history in May 2021 when she became the first woman to attempt and land a Yurchenko double pike vault in competition.

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Biles is one of the most decorated atheletes of her time

She was also 2019 AP Female Athlete of the Year and Team USA’s Female Olympic Athlete of the Year for 2019. Biles is the first woman to win five World floor exercise titles. She is also the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year 2018.

Her decision was a strong one especially after the current state of world affairs. The honour of representing the country and winning the most medals in history was secondary, when Biles prioritised her mental health first. We will hope to see her return rested and fresh for the next gymnastics event in the coming months.

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