The announcement has garnered mixed reactions as people have come forth with words of support and criticism of the 24-year-old champion.
Following the revelation that Simone Biles had withdrawn from the Olympics, the champion gymnast spoke candidly about her decision. Biles is poised as America's top-tier athlete who was a leading candidate to help bring home the gold for the United States, but on Tuesday (July 27), it was revealed that Biles decided to bow out gracefully.
"Official statement: 'Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,'" the U.S. Gymnast team tweeted. "Thinking of you, Simone!"
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There was much speculation as to why Biles would opt to leave the Olympics and rumors about a physical injury grew. However, Biles returned to say that she was taking a break due to her mental health. “Whenever you get in a high-stress situation you kind of freak out and don’t really know how to handle all of those emotions, especially at the Olympic Games,” she told reporters. “I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and wellbeing.”
Just yesterday, the gymnast shared a post on Instagram where she revealed she felt “like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times... I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard." This is a similar take as fellow athlete Naomi Osaka who decided not to participate in the French Open or Wimbledon before the Olympics.
Watch Simon Biles explain herself below and look through a few reactions.