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"She's the GOAT of gymnastics" - When US gymnast Suni Lee opened up on competing alongside Simone Biles

Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Lee (Red) and Biles
Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Lee (Red) and Biles
Aishwarya Kasibhatla

Team USA’s Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Sunisa 'Suni' Lee hogged the limelight ever since her 2021 Tokyo Olympics success. Competing alongside the overwhelming gold medal favorite and one of the greatest gymnasts ever, Simone Biles, can always be strenuous.

After being placed third in the qualification round, Lee was elated after winning the gold. Having spent some years admiring the seven-time Olympic medalist distantly, Lee got a chance to compete alongside Biles, representing the USA at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Lee, while pursuing gymnastics, had several role models, one of them being Biles. The all-around gold medalist credited her success to her role models. Speaking to Insider, Lee said:

"Inspired me to want to be like them or want to be better for myself. I would say Simone Biles was obviously one of them. She's the GOAT of gymnastics."

She further added:

"When I was at the Olympics, my coach and I noticed that when I worked alongside her, I was constantly getting better. You see how she does things, and it's like, 'I wanna be like her', so it really pushed me to be the best version of myself."

Biles recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Joe Biden. The medal is the highest civilian honor in the United States.

After de-stigmatizing mental health and advocating for sexual abuse survivors, Simone Biles becomes the youngest person ever to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. on.msnbc.com/3Rl2wQr https://t.co/WMigG5KmHX

Why Simone Biles pulled out of the Olympics finals?

Simone Biles withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics team competition. The Team USA gymnastics star cited her mental health as the reason for opting out of the event.

Being on top and grinding hard for four years with the aim of defending the title and having to pull out speaks volumes for the difficulties she faced. She cited mental health issues as the reason for her withdrawal from the marquee event.

Biles, 25, is considered one of the greatest gymnasts in the sport’s history. She won four gold medals at the 2016 Olympics and has dominated the world championships with 19 gold medals to her name.

💬 “I have to focus on my mental health. We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.”Powerful words from #Laureus22 World Comeback of the Year Award Nominee @Simone_Biles 👏 https://t.co/OMOcJ5Ftl6

The American Gymnastics Superstar received massive support from high-profile figures for speaking about her battle with mental health issues on such a huge platform.

Biles then took to Twitter and said:

"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."

Public figures who came in support of Biles

British gymnast Max Whitlock showed his support to Simone Biles after she had to withdraw from the Olympics.

"You've pushed boundaries time and time again. Rest up and take time."

French footballer Paul Pogba also extended his support to Biles.

"A moment of undeniable strength from Simone Biles. We always focus on the physical aspect of health but the mental aspect is just as important. When you take care of both, you will flourish in life!"

Susan Rice, a senior advisor to President Joe Biden, also tweeted her praise, saying:

"Thank you to the #GOAT Simone Biles for reminding us that mental health comes first."

The 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Amy Tinkler said Biles' decision to withdraw from the individual all-around final at the Tokyo Olympics shows how strong a person she is.

Also read: Why Jenna Ellis is under fire for her controversial tweet on Simone Biles, Megan Rapinoe


Edited by Akshay Saraswat

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