USA Gymnastics announced early Sunday that 2016 Olympic champion Simone Biles would withdraw from the floor exercise final.
Biles previously pulled out of the team competition, the individual all-around, the vault and the uneven bars as well to focus on mental health after suffering from a disorienting condition known among gymnasts as “the twisties. (RELATED: Simone Biles Explains Getting The ‘Twisties,’ Says It’s A ‘Petrifying’ Situation)
“Simone has withdrawn from the event final for floor and will make a decision on beam later this week. Either way, we’re all behind you, Simone,” USA Gymnastics offered support for Biles in the wake of her decision.
Simone has withdrawn from the event final for floor and will make a decision on beam later this week. Either way, we’re all behind you, Simone.
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) August 1, 2021
This just in…#SimoneBiles is out of floor exercise competition. Only one remaining comp for her…balance beam. #Tokyo2020 https://t.co/9di3BApQ2m
— Kenneth Moton (@KennethMoton) August 1, 2021
Biles took a lot of mixed reactions after she first withdrew as critics called her a “quitter” and a “coward;” but just as many people pointed out just how dangerous “the twisties” — which cause a gymnast to lose track of her position while in midair — can be.
‘The Twisties’: #SimoneBiles‘ exit brings attention to athletes mental health | https://t.co/gVWhufdD0n #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/cQSrFZEgjx
— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) July 29, 2021
#SimoneBiles answered fans’ questions about how she’s feeling, explains “twisties” and much more. https://t.co/GkU7a1KPgD#TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/MtMrogCn2b
— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) July 30, 2021
Others joined the cacophony of takes with support that rallied behind Biles for making the right decision for her mental health. Actor Hugh Jackman said that he was “blown away” by the young athletes like Biles who were strong enough to speak up about their mental health concerns.
I recommend … speaking up. Speaking your truth and asking for help. @naomiosaka and #simonebiles you are both incredible athletes. 2 of the best in your field. But first … you are people who feel. You are an inspiration not just for your generation but mine too. pic.twitter.com/zeVdlY9I8Q
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) July 29, 2021
“You are an inspiration not just for your generation but mine too,” he said.