The world has Simone Biles’ back.
Sure, it was a little disappointing not to see the greatest gymnast of all time compete in the all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics. And there were definitely some haters who had a problem with the athlete’s decision to step back for her mental health. But there were many more voices supporting Simone and celebrating her choice to put her mind and body first.
One of those fans was Justin Bieber, who posted a lovely supportive message on Instagram on Wednesday. He wrote:
“nobody will ever understand the pressures you face! I know we don’t know each other but I’m so proud of the decision to withdraw. It’s as simple as
– what does it mean to gain the whole world but forfeit your soul.
Sometimes our no’s are more powerful than our yes’s. When what you normally love starts to steal your joy it’s important we take a step back to evaluate why.”
On a personal note, the singer added:
“People thought I was crazy for not finishing the purpose tour but it was the best thing I could have done for my mental health!! So proud of you @simonebiles”
Biebs was joined by lots of other celebs in giving the 24-year-old a shout-out. Her other supporters included Hoda Kotb, Andy Cohen, Kerry Washington, and Michelle Obama, among others.
Some of her loudest supporters were fellow athletes, Olympians, and gymnasts, a group which notably included Dominique Mocenau, a member of the gold medalist “Magnificent Seven” squad who was gravely injured during the 1996 games. Sharing a clip of her traumatic fall, Mocenau tweeted:
“I was 14 y/o w/ a tibial stress fracture, left alone w/ no cervical spine exam after this fall. I competed in the Olympic floor final minutes later. @Simone_Biles decision demonstrates that we have a say in our own health — ‘a say’ I NEVER felt I had as an Olympian.”
A post shared by Nastia Liukin (@nastialiukin)
In response to all the well wishes, Simone herself took to Twitter to say:
“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. “
Wow. We can’t imagine the pressure she has lived under that led her to feeling this way. Much like fellow Olympian Naomi Osaka, Simone is a trailblazer for listening to and understanding her body’s needs and prioritizing her mental health. Seeing how much support she has received in her decisions, we hope it marks a cultural shift in how we approach self care.
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