American Simone Biles entered the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as one of the most decorated artistic gymnasts in the world. The 24 year old has an astounding record with a total of 30 World Championship and Olympic medals combined.
Biles was expected to do well at the 2021 Olympics and she lived up to expectations by making it to the finals of the all-round individual competition.
However, she surprised everyone including Team USA when she decided to pull out of the finals.
Biles released a statement and said that she had decided to withdraw immediately from the 2020 Olympics due to “mental health concerns“.
USA Gymnastics released a statement and said that Biles will now focus on her mental health and make a decision in the next few days whether she feels good enough to participate in next week’s events at the Olympics.
After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition.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
Biles went on record to state that one of the reasons why she dropped out of the Olympics was because she felt she was no longer having fun. USA Gymnastics said they fully supported Biles’s decision to withdraw from the Olympics and applauded her for being brave and showing the world how courageous she was.
However, not everyone agreed with Biles’s decision to drop out suddenly nor did they support the views of USA Gymnastics. British journalist Piers Morgan slammed Biles for pulling out and reminded her that she wasn’t representing herself at the Olympics but the United States of America.
Sorry Simone Biles, but there’s nothing heroic or brave about quitting because you’re not having ‘fun’ – you let down your team-mates, your fans and your country.https://t.co/gxNC7kOMN2 pic.twitter.com/eIlZsqqRHo
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 28, 2021
Morgan said there was nothing brave or courageous about Biles’s decision to pull out as she quit when it mattered. Ex-UFC Middleweight champion Michael Bisping also chipped in and said that representing your country in the Olympics was a once in a lifetime opportunity and Biles had deprived someone else of a spot in the Olympics by qualifying but dropping out when it mattered.
I know nothing of gymnastics. I do know however that with sports of any level there comes a lot of pressure. Throwing in the towel as she wasn’t having a perfect performance is a good message to send young aspiring athletes. Other people would of killed for that spot. https://t.co/01CXS1bV6g
— michael (@bisping) July 27, 2021
Biles also got a lot of flak on social media for dropping out at the last minute.
Ronda Rousey Backs Biles
Former Olympian and ex-UFC bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey lashed out at critics who were calling Biles a quitter. Rousey said there were very few people in the world who knew what it was like to go through training and qualify for the Olympics. Rousey asked the critics to shut up as they had no idea what Olympic pressure was like and backed Biles’s decision to step away.
Everyone judging @Simone_Biles doesnt know their foot from their asshole when it comes to being in her position.Shes on the Olympic team while you’re on Twitter.Whatever is going on cannot be grasped from outside.She’s doing the absolute best she can given the situation she’s in.
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) July 27, 2021