Simone Biles gives defiant response to her critics: I didn’t quit

Simone Biles gives defiant response to her critics: I didn’t quit

Team USA gymnast Simone Biles has hit back at those who criticised her decision to pull out of an Olympics final.

The 24-year-old gymnast withdrew from competing in the women’s team gymnastics event on Tuesday. She also pulled out of the Olympics gymnastics individual all-around final on Thursday, citing a desire to protect her mental health.

Her brave decision was supported by most fans and supporters, though a few outspoken critics lambasted the young gymnast and her choice to put her well-being first.

Former Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan hit out at Biles in a series of tweets in which he appeared to suggest she was using her mental health struggles as an excuse.

Morgan wrote: “Are ‘mental health issues’ now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport?

“What a joke. Just admit you did badly, made mistakes, and will strive to do better next time.

“Kids need strong role models not this nonsense.”

In another tweet, Morgan blamed “Twitter’s virtue-signallers” for creating a world that celebrates “weakness” and said athletes that “lost or quit” are considered more “inspiring”.

Since Morgan’s online attack, the 19-time world champion and four-time Olympic gold medalist has hit back at her critics who claimed she quit.

In a now-deleted Instagram story, Biles posted footage of her making a mistake while training on the uneven bars and explained how gymnasts can lose track of their spatial awareness in a phenomenon known as “twisting”.

Biles wrote: “For anyone saying I quit, I didn’t quit, my body and head are simply not in sync. I don’t think you realise how dangerous this is on a hard competition surface.

“I didn’t have a bad performance and quit. I’ve had plenty of bad performances throughout my career and finished the competition. I simply got so lost my safety was at risk as well as a team medal.”

Biles explained that she began to feel the effects of twisting during qualifying for the individual event in which she did not appear at her dominant best.

She suggested that she may not go on to compete in other events, such as the bars and beam, since she has been experiencing twisting in those events for the first time in her career and it may be dangerous to compete.

She wrote: “It has never transferred to bars and beam for me. This time it’s literally in every event which sucks.

“[You] literally cannot tell up from down. It’s the craziest feeling ever, not having an inch of control over your body.

“What’s even scarier is since I have no idea where I am in the air, I also have no idea how I’m going to land, or what I’m going to land on.

“It’s honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind and body in sync.”

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