Simone Biles, Olympic gymnastics superstar, has withdrawn from Thursday’s individual all-around competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. After taking a fall during her vault competition and completing only 1 ½ twists of the 2 ½ she had planned, the gymnast pulled out of Thursday’s event citing mental health as the issue.
USA Gymnastics said in a statement Wednesday “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.”
Biles shared on social media that she truly feels like she has the weight of the whole world on her shoulders. She was the face of the Tokyo Olympics and understandably, that load became too much to bear. She had been seen struggling during warm up practices for Tuesday’s competition and then fell during her vault competition that day.
After taking the fall, Biles decided to pull out of the rest of the all-around competition due to mental health issues. She explained to reporters that she didn’t feel safe competing in this head space. Mental health can affect gymnasts ability to complete skills safely, just as much as a physical injury can. It can make you disoriented in space and it puts a mental block on your physical ability.
While her time at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could be over, she could still choose to come back into the competition next week to compete for an individual title.