TAMPA (NBC Olympics) — Support poured in for U.S. gymnast Simone Biles, who withdrew from the women’s team final at the Tokyo Games after a disappointing vault, saying she had to focus on her mental health.
“After the performance I did, I just didn’t want to go on,” she said.
Biles, 24, who has won 30 Olympic and world titles, later said her future at the games will be determined later.
Meanwhile, support for Biles poured in from teammates, Olympians past and present, celebrities and others.
Here’s what some people are saying:
Jordan Chiles, U.S. Olympics gymnast, who replaced Biles
“That was a huge thing. When I was told that I had to put my grips on, I was just like OMG. Those were definitely some big shoes that I had to fill and I’m very happy that I was able to do that. Yes, she is the GOAT (greatest of all time). I was able to show the world that not only can you fill amazing people’s shoes but we also did this together as well.”
Mai Murakami, Japanese Olympic gymnast
“This is very unusual for her, but if you’re under a lot of pressure it can affect your body … I think she decided to save her body for later this week, for the all-around and apparatus.”
Aly Raisman, retired U.S. gymnast And Olympic gold medalist
“I feel sick to my stomach. It’s horrible. I know that all of these athletes dream of this moment for their whole entire lives and so I’m just completely devastated and obviously so worried and just hoping Simone’s OK. I’m also thinking about the mental impact this has to have on Simone. It’s just so much pressure and I’ve been watching how much pressure has been on her the months leading up to the Games and it’s just devastating. I feel horrible.”
“Just a friendly reminder: Olympic athletes are human & they’re doing the best they can. It’s REALLY hard to peak at the right moment & do the routine of your life under such pressure.”
Adam Rippon, retired U.S. figure skater
“I can’t imagine the pressure Simone has been feeling. Sending her SO much love. It easy to forget she’s still human. WE LOVE YOU.”
Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos, French Olympic gymnast
“We are not used to seeing Simone Biles like this. I would like to say that it is not easy because she is Simone Biles and everyone is watching her. She took down the difficulty (downgraded) not to hurt herself. And I think she did the right thing. It’s so difficult psychologically for her. I think she doesn’t even think any more about what she needs to do. She thinks what she might do wrong. And this destabilized her.”
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary
“Gratitude and support are what @Simone_Biles deserves. Still the GOAT and we are all just lucky to be able to see her in action.”
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
“Sending nothing but love and positivity to the @Simone_Biles”