(CNN)Simone Biles, the US gymnast who withdrew from Tokyo 2020 Olympic events to prioritize her mental health, has thanked fans for their “love and support” amid an outpouring of praise and well wishes from people around the world.

The 24-year-old, who is one of the greatest gymnasts of all time, withdrew from Thursday’s individual all-around competition yesterday after stepping away from a dramatic team competition earlier in the week. She cited mental heath concerns and the need to protect “her body and mind.”In a tweet published Wednesday, Biles addressed the support she has since received from fans and said it had shown her she was “more” than her sporting accomplishments.”The outpouring love and support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before,” Biles said.

the outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before. 🤍

— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) July 29, 2021 USA Gymnastics said in a statement earlier on Wednesday that it supported her decision “wholeheartedly” and applauded her “bravery.”Read More”Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many,” USA Gymnastics said. Biles, who had been a favorite to win gold in the final, has won every individual all-around competition that she has entered since 2013 and won four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics.But on Tuesday, while attempting an advanced vault that involves a back handspring with two-and-a-half twists in the air before landing, Biles faltered and left the field of play close to tears.Simone Biles competes in the floor exercise during the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, in October 2019.Simone Biles competes in the floor exercise during the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, in October 2019. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesSimone Biles competes in the floor exercise during the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, in October 2019.Hide Caption 1 of 27Biles poses after winning the gold medal in the floor exercise at the 2013 World Championships.Biles poses after winning the gold medal in the floor exercise at the 2013 World Championships. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles poses after winning the gold medal in the floor exercise at the 2013 World Championships.Hide Caption 2 of 27Biles dodges a bee flying near her during the medal ceremony after winning gold in the all-around final of the 2014 World Championships.Biles dodges a bee flying near her during the medal ceremony after winning gold in the all-around final of the 2014 World Championships. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles dodges a bee flying near her during the medal ceremony after winning gold in the all-around final of the 2014 World Championships.Hide Caption 3 of 27Biles practices in Houston in January 2016.Biles practices in Houston in January 2016. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles practices in Houston in January 2016.Hide Caption 4 of 27Biles competes on the balance beam at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.Biles competes on the balance beam at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles competes on the balance beam at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.Hide Caption 5 of 27From left, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, Biles, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas celebrate winning the gold medal during the team final of the 2016 Olympics.From left, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, Biles, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas celebrate winning the gold medal during the team final of the 2016 Olympics. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesFrom left, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, Biles, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas celebrate winning the gold medal during the team final of the 2016 Olympics.Hide Caption 6 of 27Biles looks on during competition at the 2016 Olympics.Biles looks on during competition at the 2016 Olympics. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles looks on during competition at the 2016 Olympics.Hide Caption 7 of 27Biles reacts to a camera after winning the individual all-around final at the 2016 Olympics.Biles reacts to a camera after winning the individual all-around final at the 2016 Olympics. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles reacts to a camera after winning the individual all-around final at the 2016 Olympics.Hide Caption 8 of 27Biles competes on the uneven bars at the 2016 Olympics.Biles competes on the uneven bars at the 2016 Olympics. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles competes on the uneven bars at the 2016 Olympics.Hide Caption 9 of 27Biles' grandfather, Ron Biles, and his wife, Nellie, watch as she waits on the podium to receive her gold medal after winning the floor final of the 2016 Olympics. They took in Simone and her younger sister, Adria, and then formally adopted them when Simone was just 6 because Simone's mom was battling addiction to drugs and alcohol. Biles' grandfather, Ron Biles, and his wife, Nellie, watch as she waits on the podium to receive her gold medal after winning the floor final of the 2016 Olympics. They took in Simone and her younger sister, Adria, and then formally adopted them when Simone was just 6 because Simone's mom was battling addiction to drugs and alcohol. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles’ grandfather, Ron Biles, and his wife, Nellie, watch as she waits on the podium to receive her gold medal after winning the floor final of the 2016 Olympics. They took in Simone and her younger sister, Adria, and then formally adopted them when Simone was just 6 because Simone’s mom was battling addiction to drugs and alcohol. Hide Caption 10 of 27Biles competes on the floor at the 2016 Olympics.Biles competes on the floor at the 2016 Olympics. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles competes on the floor at the 2016 Olympics.Hide Caption 11 of 27Biles and other Olympic athletes play "Hungry Hungry Humans" on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon.Biles and other Olympic athletes play "Hungry Hungry Humans" on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles and other Olympic athletes play “Hungry Hungry Humans” on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon.Hide Caption 12 of 27Biles sits with Anna Wintour and Maria Sharapova during New York Fashion Week in September 2016.Biles sits with Anna Wintour and Maria Sharapova during New York Fashion Week in September 2016. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles sits with Anna Wintour and Maria Sharapova during New York Fashion Week in September 2016.Hide Caption 13 of 27First lady Michelle Obama rests her elbow on Biles' head as President Barack Obama speaks during an Olympic athletes event at the White House in September 2016.First lady Michelle Obama rests her elbow on Biles' head as President Barack Obama speaks during an Olympic athletes event at the White House in September 2016. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesFirst lady Michelle Obama rests her elbow on Biles’ head as President Barack Obama speaks during an Olympic athletes event at the White House in September 2016.Hide Caption 14 of 27Biles takes a photo with a young fan in her hometown of Houston in September 2016.Biles takes a photo with a young fan in her hometown of Houston in September 2016. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles takes a photo with a young fan in her hometown of Houston in September 2016.Hide Caption 15 of 27Biles speaks onstage during Glamour's Women of the Year event in 2016.Biles speaks onstage during Glamour's Women of the Year event in 2016. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles speaks onstage during Glamour’s Women of the Year event in 2016.Hide Caption 16 of 27Biles competes in "Dancing with the Stars" with Sasha Farber in 2017.Biles competes in "Dancing with the Stars" with Sasha Farber in 2017. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles competes in “Dancing with the Stars” with Sasha Farber in 2017.Hide Caption 17 of 27Biles speaks after receiving the ESPY Award for best female athlete in 2017.Biles speaks after receiving the ESPY Award for best female athlete in 2017. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles speaks after receiving the ESPY Award for best female athlete in 2017.Hide Caption 18 of 27Biles performs with the Houston Texans cheerleaders in December 2017.Biles performs with the Houston Texans cheerleaders in December 2017. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles performs with the Houston Texans cheerleaders in December 2017.Hide Caption 19 of 27Biles competes on the uneven bars during the 2018 World Championships.Biles competes on the uneven bars during the 2018 World Championships. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles competes on the uneven bars during the 2018 World Championships.Hide Caption 20 of 27Biles rests behind teammates during qualifying sessions for the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.Biles rests behind teammates during qualifying sessions for the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles rests behind teammates during qualifying sessions for the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.Hide Caption 21 of 27Biles performs on the floor during the 2018 World Championships.Biles performs on the floor during the 2018 World Championships. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles performs on the floor during the 2018 World Championships.Hide Caption 22 of 27Biles performs on the uneven bars at the 2019 World Championships.Biles performs on the uneven bars at the 2019 World Championships. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles performs on the uneven bars at the 2019 World Championships.Hide Caption 23 of 27Biles celebrates after winning the beam apparatus final at the 2019 World Championships.Biles celebrates after winning the beam apparatus final at the 2019 World Championships. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles celebrates after winning the beam apparatus final at the 2019 World Championships.Hide Caption 24 of 27Biles becomes <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/23/us/simone-biles-yurchenko-double-pike-trnd/index.html" target="_blank">the first woman in history to land a Yurchenko double pike vault in competition</a> during the GK US Classic in May 2021.Biles becomes <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/23/us/simone-biles-yurchenko-double-pike-trnd/index.html" target="_blank">the first woman in history to land a Yurchenko double pike vault in competition</a> during the GK US Classic in May 2021. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles becomes the first woman in history to land a Yurchenko double pike vault in competition during the GK US Classic in May 2021.Hide Caption 25 of 27Biles lands awkwardly while competing in the team all-around at the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021. Biles stumbled on the vault landing and then <a href="https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/tokyo-2020-olympics-07-27-21-spt/h_fbc139e365a8d111304aa45ddd4ed62b" target="_blank">pulled out of the competition</a> over mental-health concerns.Biles lands awkwardly while competing in the team all-around at the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021. Biles stumbled on the vault landing and then <a href="https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/tokyo-2020-olympics-07-27-21-spt/h_fbc139e365a8d111304aa45ddd4ed62b" target="_blank">pulled out of the competition</a> over mental-health concerns. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles lands awkwardly while competing in the team all-around at the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021. Biles stumbled on the vault landing and then pulled out of the competition over mental-health concerns.Hide Caption 26 of 27Biles wears her warm-up gear after she was pulled from the team all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics on July 27. She "will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions," USA Gymnastics said in a statement. The gymnastics body announced the next day that <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/28/sport/simone-biles-gymnastics-tokyo-2020-mental-health-spt-intl/index.html" target="_blank">Biles had also withdrawn from the individual all-around competition</a> to focus on her mental health.Biles wears her warm-up gear after she was pulled from the team all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics on July 27. She "will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions," USA Gymnastics said in a statement. The gymnastics body announced the next day that <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/28/sport/simone-biles-gymnastics-tokyo-2020-mental-health-spt-intl/index.html" target="_blank">Biles had also withdrawn from the individual all-around competition</a> to focus on her mental health. Photos: Superstar gymnast Simone BilesBiles wears her warm-up gear after she was pulled from the team all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics on July 27. She “will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement. The gymnastics body announced the next day that Biles had also withdrawn from the individual all-around competition to focus on her mental health.Hide Caption 27 of 2701 simone biles03 simone biles04 simone biles06 simone biles07 simone biles08 simone biles09 simone biles10 simone biles11 simone biles12 simone biles13 simone biles14 simone biles15 simone biles16 simone biles17 simone biles18 simone biles19 simone biles20 simone biles21 simone biles22 simone biles23 simone biles24 simone biles25 simone biles01 simone biles 101301 simone biles yurchenko 052204 simone biles 07272132 olympics 072721 gymnastics bilesThe weight of the world on her shouldersWriting on Instagram earlier in the week she said she felt “the weight of the world on [her] shoulders at times.””I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha!” she wrote in the post.Her honesty about the pressure of competition and mental health has been supported by fellow athletes, as well as sponsors including Visa, American Airlines and Uber Eats.Three-time Olympic gold medalist and former teammate Aly Raisman is among those to voice their support for Biles. Simone Biles' withdrawal reminds us that she's human -- and still very much the GOATSimone Biles' withdrawal reminds us that she's human -- and still very much the GOATSimone Biles' withdrawal reminds us that she's human — and still very much the GOATShe criticized USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee for a lack of leadership in supporting athletes and said athletes were “people at the end of the day.””USA Gymnastics has been an absolute disaster for years and unfortunately not enough has changed for us to believe in a safer future, but I think this just really shows the lack of leadership [of] USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee,” she told CNN’s Jake Tapper Tuesday.Watch Tapper's interview with Aly Raisman Watch Tapper's interview with Aly Raisman Watch Tapper's interview with Aly Raisman JUST WATCHEDWatch Tapper’s interview with Aly Raisman ReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH

Watch Tapper’s interview with Aly Raisman 05:08″Does Simone have the support that she needs?” continued Raisman. “Do other athletes have the support that they need?”She added: “It’s a tremendous amount of pressure… I’m completely devastated and I support her so much.”Paula Radcliffe, the former team GB runner who was labeled a “quitter” when she was forced to withdrawn from the 2004 Athens Olympic marathon a few miles before the finish line due to injury, spoke of her own experience in an interview with CNN Wednesday.“Neither one of us quit. Our bodies just weren’t able to do it,” Radcliffe said. The problem that Simone Biles just laid bareThe problem that Simone Biles just laid bareThe problem that Simone Biles just laid bare“Very few people actually understand the relationship between your mind and your body … particularly in something that’s really physically, or mentally — or both — taxing, you really need to know when to push through it and when to listen to your body, and it’s what has made her the great champion that she is,” she added.”I would argue that she’s actually even stronger mentally for being able to make that call now,” Radcliffe said of Biles.Sports stars are becoming more open about the pressures they face.In May, four-time major tennis champion Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open, citing mental health reasons.The 23-year-old revealed she had suffered with anxiety and depression.”The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that,” she said in a statement at the time.”Anyone that knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety.”

Source Link:
https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/29/sport/simone-biles-tweet-scli-intl-spt/index.html

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