Celebs shared words of support after Simone Biles withdrew from Olympics

Simone Biles does a jump on the balance beam
Associated Press

She has tied numerous world records and set a new American record for most gold medals in gymnastics at a single Olympics Games (in Rio 2016). But although the gymnast has become a household name, Simone Biles is still human.

On July 27, following a single rotation at the Tokyo Olympics, the superstar withdrew from the competition. USA Gymnastics (USAG) confirmed this, saying the decision was due to a medical issue and that Biles would be “assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”

Biles spoke at a press conference after the event and stated that she was not injured. Rather, she shared that she wasn’t in the right headspace and felt her performance would jeopardize the team’s chances for a medal. She gave more details to Hoda Kotb in an interview on Today.

“Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape,” she revealed to Kotb. “Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment. Coming here to the Olympics and being the head star isn’t an easy feat, so we’re just trying to take it one day at a time and we’ll see.”

As word spread, celebrities took to social media to show their support. Actors, journalists, sports stars and politicians shared uplifting messages regarding Biles’ decision to prioritize her mental health.

Kotb took to Twitter to say that Biles had already won, calling the gymnast “a class act.”

Canadian actress Zoie Palmer gave “a huge shout out” to Biles for knowing what she needed and showing others the importance of self-care.

Arianna Huffington called Biles an “amazing role model” for her focus on mental health.

Actress Kerry Washington also thanked Biles.

“It takes the strength, power and bravery of a CHAMPION to put your health first,” she tweeted. “@Simone_Biles, we love you.”

Many former Olympians spoke out in support of Biles, as well. Tennis player Billie Jean King said that the gymnast’s decision “showed true leadership.”

Figure skater Adam Rippon showed empathy, stating, “It [is] easy to forget she’s still human.”

Florida Senator Shevrin Jones said that Biles doesn’t owe any explanations.

“She had me at ‘I need a break,'” he tweeted. “I wish more people would normalize making their #mentalhealth a priority.”

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois tweeted that Biles is a living legend, “but she’s also a human being.”

“Today Simone made likely one of the hardest and most courageous decisions of her life,” he added. “She is an inspiration to us all.”

And the Calm app, which pledged to pay $15,000 to a French mental health organization in support of Naomi Osaka, posted a tweet with an image of a gold medal and the words, “Mental health is health.”

What @Simone_Biles did in Tokyo took more strength and courage than any of her gold medals ever asked of her,” tweeted Calm. “Every time a ‘superhuman’ athlete acknowledges their humanity and normalizes putting mental health first, we all benefit.”

It’s good to see so much support of Biles after her brave action. The U.S.A. women’s team will continue to compete in Olympic events through Tuesday, Aug. 3.

Celebrities, News, Sports
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Tricia Goss
Tricia Goss is a Texas-based writer and editor with nearly two decades of experience. She is passionate about helping readers improve their skills, gain knowledge and attain more happiness in life. When she’s not working, Tricia enjoys traveling with her husband and their dog, especially to visit their five grandchildren.

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