TOKYO, July 29 : Star American gymnast Simone Biles expressed gratitude for the “outpouring love and support” received since her withdrawal from women’s individual all-around final in artistic gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health.
“The outpouring love and support I’ve received has made me realise I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics, which I never truly believed before [emoticon: white heart],” said Simone in a tweet posted on Thursday.
Jade Carey, who had the ninth highest score in qualifications, will now participate in the individual all-around event in place of Simone.
The 24-year-old had pulled out from the women’s team final on Tuesday after scoring 13.766 on the vault, the lowest mark in the first rotation. Simone was seen talking with a trainer and then exited the competition floor with the team doctor.
She then came back, with a taping on her right leg and hugged her team-mates. She had removed the bar grips and came dressed in jacket and sweatpants, signalling her withdrawal from the team final. The reason behind Simone’s withdrawal was cited as mental health concerns.
USA, the defending champions in the competition, were placed second behind the eventual gold medal winners, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).
Simone is the most successful USA gymnast of all time. She won four gold medals and a bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She had arrived for the Tokyo Olympics as one of the biggest stars of the mega event.