Sport

This viral Instagram post is shutting down all of Simone Biles’ critics

A gymnastics coach’s response to the backlash Simone Biles has received over her Olympics journey has gone viral and is shutting down all her critics.

Andrea Orris, posting on Instagram, slammed those criticising the athlete and explained that if Biles had continued competing she could have been seriously injured. It was later shared to Twitter by actor Brandon Marino, prompting it to go viral.

It said:

It comes after Biles withdraw from Thursday’s women’s all-around final, citing a desire to focus on her mental health, triggering mass support and concern for her wellbeing but also some backlash.

In an interview after she pulled out after one rotation of the women’s team final on Tuesday, Biles 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.”

She continued: “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.”

Despite this reasonable excuse, the 24-year-old athlete was slammed by people we couldn’t imagine doing any sort of backflip. Piers Morgan, for instance, said:

But Biles has also received an outpouring of support from others who said she was right to protect her mental health.

Michelle Obama said:

And her fellow athletes echoed these sentiments:

Biles herself retweeted Orris’ support, prompting people to read it. It has received over 191,000 likes and, reacting to it, people thought it was right to emphasise that Biles had reasons to withdraw:

Others said Biles was setting a good example to people by putting her health first and should not listen to those who criticise her:

For her part, Orris said she was happy Biles saw her post and hoped she felt “validated, valued, and supported by her country and the gymnastics community.”

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

Biles won four gold medals in Rio in 2016 and was aiming to become the first gymnast to retain a female all-around title at the Games since Vera Caslavska in 1968.

We can only wish her well.

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