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Last week, the world watched as Simone Biles bravely withdrew from multiple Olympic events at Tokyo 2020, sharing an important message about saying 'no' to protect mental health. Now, the athlete is inspiring us all over again, as we know that Simone will compete in an Olympic final, as confirmed by Team USA.
The 24-year-old gymnast has withdrawn from five events in Japan - the women’s team final and then the individual all-around, vault, bars and floor finals - as she's been focussing on her mental health.
Speaking about her decision initially, Simone, who has previously won four gold medals, explained that she had partially lost faith in her abilities. "I don't trust myself as much as I used to," she said. "I don't know if it's age and I'm a little bit more nervous when I do gymnastics. I feel like I'm not having as much fun."
At the start of her Olympics, Simone wasn't looking like her usual self out on the gymnastics floor and appeared unable to execute some of her moves as planned - something she later spoke to the press about.
"I don’t want to do something stupid [and] get hurt. It’s not worth it, especially when you have three amazing athletes that can step up to the plate and do it... I think [stepping down] it shows power in the athlete, protecting my mental well-being, that I didn’t want to go out there and do something dumb, get hurt and be negligent. I knew for myself that I had to take a step back," she said.
Now, after some time away from the competition, we know Simone will be going for gold in the balance beam final tomorrow.
"We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow - Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both," Team USA gymnastics announced.
One thing's for sure, Simone's teammates will be there cheering her on, as she has been doing for them while she's been sitting out of the competition.
Teammate MyKayla Skinner shared a viral post about how much support Simone has shown to the rest of the squad, writing: "That's my girl" in response to a series of images showing Simone clapping and cheering from the sidelines.
"Regardless of the picture the media tries to paint, the world really needs to know that Simone Biles is, in fact, cheering for her teammates and the other competitors with everything she has - so loud, you can hear her on the broadcast. She’s elated for them," the post, also retweeted by Simone herself, read.
Clearly, Simone is incredibly passionate about her team's success, so we can't wait to see her back in action tomorrow. From pressing pause and saying no for mental health reasons to picking herself back up and getting out there again, Simone is proving herself to be the most inspirational athlete of these Olympic games.
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