Tokyo Olympics: Max Whitlock leads protests for American gymnast Simone Biles

Max Whitlock led the shows for American gymnastics superstar Simone Biles after she withdrew from her individual all-around final to focus on her mental health.

Biles, 24, the most successful American gymnast of all time, was a favorite to retain her Olympic title in the event, but decided to withdraw just a day after she dramatically withdrew from the team event final, with Jordan Chiles replacing her for Team USA went on to claim the silver medal.

The 24-year-old admitted on Tuesday that she is struggling with her mental health and coping with the pressures of the Olympics, but has received huge support from the sports world and her fellow athletes.

Max Whitlock sent her a message of support after the news broke on Wednesday

Max Whitlock is one of the many big names in the sports world supporting Simone Biles

Biles withdrew from her individual all-around final in Tokyo to 'focus on her mental health'

Biles withdrew from her individual all-around final in Tokyo to ‘focus on her mental health’

USA Gymnastics praised Biles for her “courage” and “courage” for prioritizing her well-being over participation in Thursday’s overall final in a statement confirming her withdrawal from the event.

The statement read: “After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-round competition.

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her courage to prioritize her well-being. Her courage shows once again why she is a role model for so many.’

Britain’s two-time Olympic champion Whitlock offered his support to Biles minutes after the announcement, praising her effusively for her achievements in the sport.

The 24-year-old also withdrew from the team event final on Tuesday after a struggle on the jump

The 24-year-old also withdrew from the team event final on Tuesday after a struggle on the jump

Biles was replaced by Jordan Chiles when Team USA won the silver medal in the event

Biles was replaced by Jordan Chiles when Team USA won the silver medal in the event

On Twitter, he wrote: “You have pushed boundaries time and again. Rest and take your time.’

American swimming legend Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 28 medals, spoke about the need for mental health resources for Olympic athletes following Biles’ withdrawal, after revealing in 2018 that he was suffering from depression and pondering himself. on suicide after the 2012 London Games.

Speak with the athletic one he said: ‘I hope this is an opportunity for us to jump on board and even blow this issue of mental health wide open.

“We carry a lot of weight on our shoulders, and it’s a challenge, especially when we have the lights on us and all these expectations are thrown on us.

‘We are people. Nobody is perfect. It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to go through ups and downs and emotional rollercoasters. Most importantly, we should all ask for help as we go through those times. I found it difficult to ask for help.

“I felt like, as Simone said, I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. It’s a tricky situation. I hope this is an eye-opening experience.’

Swimming legend Michael Phelps was one of many current and former athletes who sympathized with Biles and praised her for prioritizing her mental health

Swimming legend Michael Phelps was one of many current and former athletes who sympathized with Biles and praised her for prioritizing her mental health

Three-time Olympic medalist Paul Gasol, a Spanish basketball player, also sent a message to Biles, writing: “All my support to Simone Biles.

Mental health is an important part of our health and MUST always be a priority. We need the sports world to focus much more on emotional and mental well-being.’

Simone Biles’ Olympic Medal Card

RIO 2016

Team: Gold medal

All-round: gold medal

Vault: Gold Medal

Floor Exercise: Gold Medal

Balance Beam: Bronze Medal

TOKYO 2020

Team: Silver

Michelle Obama, tennis icon Billie Jean King, Coco Gauff and former soccer star Landon Donovan also sent messages of support to their compatriot.

Biles admitted she felt the “weight of the world” on her shoulders in the run-up to the Olympics and spoke openly about her mental health issues after Tuesday’s team event final.

The American withdrew halfway through that event after struggling with her first jump. Speaking after her gymnastics teammates won the silver medal in her absence, Biles said, “I’m not hurt. Just a little damage to my pride.

‘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 these days… we need to protect our minds and bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.

“I don’t trust myself that much anymore… maybe it’s getting older. There were a few days when everyone was tweeting you and you feel the weight of the world.

“We’re not just athletes, we’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to take a step back.

“I didn’t want to go out and do something stupid and get hurt.

“I feel that many athletes who cast their votes have really helped.

‘It’s so big, it’s the Olympics, in the end we don’t want to be carried away on a stretcher.

“You have to be there 100 percent or 120 percent or you’ll hurt yourself.”

The USA Gymnastics statement released today states that Biles has not yet decided whether she will compete in her four other individual events next week.

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