Simone Biles, the most successful US gymnast of all time, has now pulled out of the women’s all-around gymnastics competition and fans have flooded her with support.

This follows her dramatically dropping out of the women’s team final on Tuesday after just a single vault. The 24-year old appeared to have an awkward landing on her opening vault of the team event and briefly left the arena.

She did return but it was confirmed that she would take part in any further events with teammate Jordan Chiles stepping in to replace her.

It was not immediately disclosed why Biles dropped out of the event but the reason was said to be a “medical issue.” USA gymnastics added: “She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions. Thinking of you, Simone!”

The highly decorated gymnast later explained that she is prioritising her own mental health and well-being. She said: “After the performance I did, I just didn’t want to go on.

“I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now.

“We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.

“I don’t trust myself as much anymore. Maybe it’s getting older. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world.”

She added: “We’re not just athletes. We’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back.

“I didn’t want to go out and do something stupid and get hurt. ​I feel like a lot of athletes speaking up has really helped.

“It’s so big, it’s the Olympic Games. At the end of the day, we don’t want to be carried out of there on a stretcher.”

USA gymnastics also added that, after further medical examination, Biles had al withdrawn from the women’s all-round final, taking place on Thursday. The statement praised her “bravery” in “prioritising her well-being”.

Biles is yet to decide whether to withdraw from her four individual finals, which are scheduled to take place next week, USA Gymnastics said.

There was an immediate show of support and solidarity for Biles as she bowed out of the competition, with fans hoping for the best for the gymnast and her wellbeing.

Fellow athletes also showed their support for Biles.

Fans hope the media will respect Biles while she recovers, while some criticised Team USA’s strategy.

Biles stuck around to cheer on her teammates on Tuesday who did her proud.

Biles, who was in contention to win six gold medals, is widely regarded as one of the greatest Olympians ever and this will be considered a massive blow for the athletes and potentially the Games as a whole as she is one of the most famous stars on show in Tokyo.

At Rio 2016, Biles finished top of the all-around standings and picked up four gold medals in just her first games however she made some uncharacteristic mistakes in the preliminary rounds of the team competition. Just a day ago she shared a post on Instagram where she mentioned that she felt like she had the “weight of the world on my shoulders at times.”

Biles later told NBC that she is “in shape” but that it isn’t an “easy feat” by coming to the Olympics and being the “head star” but “we’re just trying to take it one day at a time and we’ll see.” She added: “I’m OK, just super frustrated of how the night, but super proud of these girls and now we’re silver medalists.

“Something we’ll cherish forever. We hope America still loves us.”

The United States managed to finish in the silver medal position with Biles appearing on the podium to accept the medal alongside Chiles, Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum. Gold was won by the Russian Olympic Committee, with Team GB taking bronze.

Biles added on Instagram that she was “proud” of the team who “stepped up when I couldn’t.”

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)