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Simone Biles withdraws from gymnastics individual all-around final to focus on mental health


Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final of the individual all-around gymnastics competition at the Olympics due to concerns over her mental health, USA Gymnastics confirmed on Wednesday.


Tokyo Olympics Gymnastics: Simone Biles out of team event, can still get medal

 

A tweet from the USA Gymnastics Team read: ‘After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition.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.”

Jade Carey will replace Biles in the all-around final. Biles’ decision to pull out of the all-around event comes after her withdrawal early in Tuesday’s team final in Tokyo.

The 24-year-old superstar — one of the faces of the Olympics — abruptly scratched from the competition after one rotation citing mental health concerns.

– Obama support, Phelps concern –

Former US first lady Michelle Obama tweeted: “Am I good enough? Yes, I am. The mantra I practice daily. @Simone_Biles , we are proud of you and we are rooting for you.”

Two-time Olympic Alpine ski champion Mikaela Shiffrin offered support as well, tweeting: “@Simone_Biles keep whipping out that smile of yours cause it is undeniably golden. Always.”

US swimming and Olympic legend Michael Phelps, who in 2018 revealed his own struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts following the 2012 Olympics, said watching Biles struggle on Tuesday “broke my heart.”

 

Phelps told NBC the Olympics could be overwhelming for athletes, and that he had often struggled to find support during his own career.

“The biggest thing is we all need to ask for help sometimes too when we go through those times,” Phelps said. “For me, I can say personally it was something very challenging. It was hard for me to ask for help.”

Biles’s former USA teammate Aly Raisman spoke of her concerns for her friend’s wellbeing.

“I know that all of these athletes dream of this moment for their whole entire lives, and so I’m just completely devastated,” Raisman told NBC.

“I am obviously so worried and just hoping that Simone is OK.”

Raisman and Biles were among the gymnasts abused by former US team doctor Larry Nassar, who was jailed in 2018 for sexual abuse.

“It’s just so much pressure, and I’ve been watching how much pressure has been on her in the months leading up to the Games, and it’s just devastating. I feel horrible,” Raisman added.





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