Simone Biles shocked the world after her sudden withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympic Games on Tuesday. The star gymnast also pulled out from the all-around individual competition citing issues related to mental health.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist opened up about the decision in her official statement:
“I have to focus on my mental health. There is more to life than just gymnastics… We have to protect our mind and our body rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.”
Simone Biles also spoke about being under pressure and assured that stepping back is necessary at times:
“I don’t trust myself as much anymore. Maybe it’s getting older. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets 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 step back. I didn’t want to go out and do something stupid and get hurt.”
The reigning athlete’s decision was largely welcomed by people across the globe. The 24-year-old earned a huge appreciation for prioritizing mental health and openly addressing the situation in public.
However, British media personality Piers Morgan did not appreciate the decision. The broadcaster took to Twitter to call out the gymnast for pulling out of the game due to mental health concerns.
Morgan’s questionable comments regarding Simone Biles' decision caused massive outrage online. Several social media users slammed the former for his controversial statements against the gymnast.
Twitter slams Pierce Morgan for controversial comments on Simone Biles
Simone Biles is often regarded as one of the greatest contemporary gymnasts in the world. The artistic gymnast won three individual all-around gold medals, one team gold medal and a bronze for balance beam, at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
She created history by being the only gymnast in the world to win the most gold medals at a single Olympics. She is also a female gymnast with the maximum number of world all-around titles.
Simone Biles was one of the headline athletes from Team USA in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She was being considered as one of the strongest contenders for multiple gold wins this year.
However, the gymnast surprisingly stepped back from the game due to mental health concerns after a slightly shaky delivery in the vault round. The decision was met with respect by the majority of people around the world.
USA Gymnastics also appreciated Biles’ decision in their official statement:
“We wholeheartedly support Simone's decision and applaud her bravery in prioritising her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many."
Meanwhile, Piers Morgan criticized Simone Biles on Twitter for dropping out of the Olympic Games. The TV personality faced immediate backlash from the online community for his offensive statements.
Netizens flocked to Twitter in large numbers to slam Morgan for his comments:
As severe criticism against the reporter continues to pour in online, it remains to be seen if Biles will respond to Piers Morgan's statements in the days to come.
Simone Biles has been replaced by Jade Carey for the all-around women’s gymnastics final competition. Team USA has already bagged silver in the gymnastics team event.
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