On Tuesday (July 27) night, all-star gymnast Simone Biles decided to officially withdraw from the final individual all-around competition taking place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. A statement was released by USA Gymnastics and shared on social media regarding her choice to not participate in the global competition.
“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition,” read the statement. “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.”
The organization confirmed Biles would continue to be monitored daily to determine whether or not she would participate in the individual event finals held next week. Jade Carey was announced to take Biles’s place in the all-around individual event.
After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition.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. pic.twitter.com/6ILdtSQF7o
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) July 28, 2021
The news comes shortly after the 24-year-old athlete decided to sit out of the team competition. As VIBE reported Tuesday, Biles did not finish the team final competition due to a medical issue relating to her mental health.
“I just felt like it would be a little bit better to take a back seat, and work on my mindfulness,” she said afterward according to the Washington Post. “We’re going to see about Thursday. We’re going to take it a day at a time. I know tomorrow we have a little bit of a break for training, so that’ll be really nice to have a mental rest day. And then injury, no. Just my pride is hurt a little bit.”
As news broke of Biles’s decision to prioritize her well-being, many public figures expressed their support, one of those being former First Lady Michelle Obama who offered support and encouragement to the record-breaking gymnast and her teammates.
“Am I good enough? Yes, I am. The mantra I practice daily,” she tweeted. She continued to tag Biles, saying, “we are proud of you and we are rooting for you. Congratulations on the silver medal, Team @USA [party popper emoji].”
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) July 28, 2021
More support poured in, including a sincere message from Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah). He shared kind words for Biles and every Olympian.
“I love and admire Simone Biles and our Olympians. Beyond their determination and sacrifice, they evidence the greatness of the human spirit, in victory and in defeat,” he tweeted. “I take pride in them, not so much for the medals they win as for the grace, humanity & character of their hearts.”
French soccer player Paul Pogba also used his platform to stand by the world champion.
“A moment of undeniable strength from @simone_biles. We always focus on the physical aspect of health but the mental aspect is just as important. When you take care of both, you will flourish in life!” he tweeted, adding the goat emoji.
A moment of undeniable strength from @simone_biles. We always focus on the physical aspect of health but the mental aspect is just as important. When you take care of both, you will flourish in life! ❤️??#SimoneBiles GOAT ?
— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) July 28, 2021
Actress Kerry Washington wrote in part, “WE LOVE YOU [red heart emoji]” and reminded the world of her many prestigious victories.
When you win the USA 5 Gold Medals and 1 Silver Medal, you deserve to take some time for yourself. @Simone_Biles, WE LOVE YOU ❤️✨
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) July 28, 2021
Simone Biles still has the opportunity to compete in event finals for vault and uneven bars on Sunday (August 1), floor exercise on Monday (August 2), and balance beam on Tuesday (August 3).