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Since their star athlete withdrew herself from the gymnastics team final on July 27th, the governing body of the USA Gymnastics has confirmed that Simone Biles will not be competing in the upcoming women's all-around finals in order to better "focus on her mental health." The organization made the announcement via Twitter, supporting Biles' decision and bravery to put her well-being first. They wrote, "Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many." Jade Carey will be taking her place on July 29th.
Following the team's silver medal win on July 27th, Biles explained at the press conference that she wasn't in the right mental headspace to compete, and it was not only the fair but safe decision to remove herself from the rotation and let her teammates do their thing.
USA Gymnastics confirms that Simone Biles will not participate in Thursday's women's all-around final to focus on her mental health.
"Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many," the governing body said.@USAgym | @TeamUSA
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 28, 2021
"I was like, 'I think the girls need to do the rest of the competition without me,' and they were like, 'I promise you, you're fine. We watched you warm up.' And I said, 'No, I know I'm going to be fine, but I can't risk a medal for the team, so I need to call it,'" Biles told the press, Olympics.com reported. "And you usually don't hear me say things like that because I'll usually persevere and push through things, but not to cost the team a medal."
Being crowned the GOAT of gymnastics comes with an insurmountable amount of pressure, stress, and high standards to always come out on top, no matter what. There is no room for error and it's a level of accountability that very few can relate to. So it's very understandable why she wasn't there mentally when she must be feeling the weight of our nation on her shoulders.
During NBC's primetime coverage on July 27th, five-time Olympic medalist Nastia Liukin supported Biles' decision, noting, "She did the right thing." The former gymnast went on to say that how Biles has been handling the "twisties," as the gymnastics community calls them, is "so admirable."
Gymnasts, athletes, and former Olympians, as well as celebrities, have taken to social media in support of Biles, rallying her decision to prioritize her mental health.
Just a friendly reminder: Olympic athletes are human & they’re doing the best they can. It’s REALLY hard to peak at the right moment & do the routine of your life under such pressure. Really hard.
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) July 26, 2021
I can't imagine the pressure Simone has been feeling. Sending her SO much love. It easy to forget she's still human. WE LOVE YOU.
— Adam Rippon (@AdamRippon) July 27, 2021
Today show anchor Hoda Kotb pointed out that Biles' leadership and valor deserve a gold medal.
Someone said it best. @Simone_Biles already won. She is a class act. Withdrew from team competion after vault... stayed and cheered on her teammates... got them chalk for their hands.. encouraged.. hugged them. She already won. Congrats on the silver medal! @TeamUSA @USAGym
— Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) July 27, 2021
Two-time Olympic medalist Laurie Hernandez also indicated that the talk surrounding Biles' well-being is the starting point of a much larger conversation, which is that all athletes are struggling with pressure and mental health.
we need to talk about the amount of pressure on these three ladies. what an AWESOME bar rotation!!absolutely smashed it. and jordan??? ok miss underdog you show em what you can do
— Laurie Hernandez (@LaurieHernandez) July 27, 2021
Simone, you’ve made us so proud. Proud of who you are as a person, teammate and athlete. We applaud your decision to prioritize your mental wellness over all else, and offer you the full support and resources of our Team USA community as you navigate the journey ahead.
— Sarah Hirshland (@USOPC_CEO) July 27, 2021
But beyond her fellow athletes and celebrities, people everywhere are championing Biles' willingness to put her mental health first and thanking her for being that voice.
My daughter looks up to Simone Biles.
Today she taught my little girl the most profound lesson of her career, one of bravery and strength. #MentalHealthMatters
— laurel (@LaurelMSpeer1) July 28, 2021
Simone Biles just took a stand for every little girl out there who has held back tears, pretended not to be injured, in pain, and mentally suffering, and had to put on a brave face and do just one more routine for their coach.
Thank you #SimoneBiles.
— Rachel Luba (@AgentRachelLuba) July 28, 2021
It’s important that young girls see women excelling and succeeding in their chosen career. It’s also important that girls see women who are brave enough to put their health and well-being ahead of anything else. Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka are both incredible role models. pic.twitter.com/cHbnieu6bS
— Hazel Hayes (@TheHazelHayes) July 28, 2021
It is unclear as to whether Biles will compete in the individual event finals next week, but whatever her decision may be, we're just glad she's putting her safety and well-being first. What she's done in Tokyo thus far will help so many people and athletes more than any gold medal ever could. She's a true GOAT on and off the mat, no matter what.