It'll make you smile and break your heart at the same time.
Simone Biles is expressing her gratitude to fans after dropping out of the gymnastics team and individual all-around finals in Tokyo on July 27. While some internet trolls criticized her decision, the majority of Biles’ fans sent her messages of support. Now, she’s sending that support right back. Simone Biles' tweet to her supporters after her Olympic exit was so meaningful.
Fans were floored when Biles unexpectedly withdrew from the Olympic Women’s Team Finals, but she didn’t do so without good reason. In that moment, Biles decided to put her mental health first. As she told reporters on-site at the Olympic Games, it was a hard decision but a necessary one.
“I have to put my pride aside,” she said. “I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being.”
On July 28, it was announced Biles would also withdraw from the individual all-around competition. One day after her decision was announced, Biles spoke out again. This time, her statement was rooted in gratitude after seeing her millions of fans, and fellow athletes and celebrities, shower her with support. “The outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before,” Biles tweeted on July 28.
A long line of celebrities spoke out in support of Biles following her exit. Michelle Obama posted an empowering tweet praising the Olympic champ for putting herself first.
Janet Jackson also showed her support. “Sending luv and prayers to you,” she tweeted. “Putting your mental health 1st IS putting you 1st. I stand with you.”
Justin Bieber posted a lengthy message to Instagram acknowledging how much pressure life in the spotlight can be.
After her exit, Biles still showed the utmost support for her fellow teammates. She rooted them on and shared the following statement with reporters.
“After the performance that I did, I didn’t want to go into any other events second-guessing myself. I thought it was better if I took a step back and to let these girls go out there and let them do the job,” Biles said. “Tonight, they get a gold medal from me. They never gave up.”
Biles’ decision to exit couldn’t have been an easy one, but doing so with so many people watching showed strength.