Aly Raisman Put Simone Biles’ Mental Health First In This Supportive Message
That’s what friends are for.
Simone Biles exited the 2021 Tokyo Olympics gymnastics team final early on Tuesday, July 27, following her first rotation — the vault — in the team final. According to an official statement from USA Gymnastics, Biles withdrew from the team competition due to a “medical issue.” Despite the news, plenty of fans are still cheering on the GOAT, including former Team USA gymnast Aly Raisman. Aly Raisman's reaction to Simone Biles included a supportive message about prioritizing mental health.
Biles, who was set to compete for six Olympic finals, unexpectedly pulled out from the team competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday after the first of four team final rotations against Russia. Shortly after her exit, USA Gymnastics shared an official statement on Twitter about Biles’ exit: “Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
During her performance, Biles struggled to land her vault, completing only one-and-a half twists instead of the expected two-and-a-half twists before landing with her knees bent deep, per The New York Times. She finished with a vault score of 13.766, which is unusually low for the star gymnast.
Biles appeared upset after leaving the mat and meeting with one of her coaches and the USA Gymnastics team doctor, per USA Today. After momentarily leaving the competition floor, however, Biles returned to watch and cheer on her teammates as they finished their remaining routines.
Though there’s still no word on the exact cause of Biles’ exit, there are reports that she pulled out from the competition due to a “mental issue,” and not a physical injury. Elite Daily reached out to USA Gymnastics for further information, but did not hear back at the time of publication. In addition to USA Gymnastics’ official statement, Biles’ coach shared with NBC that “physically she is fine” but that she was “done for tonight.”
Following the news, Raisman, who competed with Biles at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, was among many people across the country to show support for Biles following her exit from the team final. In a July 27 interview with Today, Raisman said she was “sick to her stomach” when she saw Biles pulled out. “I am obviously so worried and just hoping that Simone is OK,” she added, quickly put the focus on Biles’ well-being and “mental impact” it may have had.
“I think it’s also just really important to think about how much pressure has been on her, and there’s only so much that someone can take. You know, she’s human, and I think sometimes people forget that,” Raisman said, adding, “Simone, just like everyone else, is doing the best that she can.”
Biles has yet to comment on pulling out from the final, but she recently opened up about the pressures of competing in an Instagram post on July 26, just after she had wrapped up the preliminary competition and was preparing for the finals. “It wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it,” she said. “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The Olympics is no joke!”
Of course, there was also a flood of support from fans on social media:
Following Biles’ exit, Team USA women's gymnastics won the silver medal in the team final, with Russia taking the gold and Britain scoring the bronze. It’s not clear whether Biles will compete in the women’s gymnastics all-around competition on July 29. No matter what happens, her former teammate and legions of fans will be there to support her.