‘She’s a person not a strategy’: Biles fans support gymnastics star, point finger at ‘pressure’ after withdrawal from Tokyo final
The internet has reacted to Simone Biles’ withdrawal from the gymnastics team event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, as the 24-year-old later cited mental health concerns in her decision.
The shock announcement was made on Tuesday afternoon, with an official statement from USA Gymnastics initially reading: “Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue.
“She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
Official statement: “Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
Thinking of you, Simone! pic.twitter.com/QA1GYHwWTv
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) July 27, 2021
However, Biles herself later clarified that her mental well-being was part of the decision.
“Even though it’s so big, it’s the Olympic Games. But at the end of the day it’s like we want to walk out of here, not be dragged out of here on a stretcher,” said the star.
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“I just don’t trust myself as much as I used to. And I don’t know if it’s age – I’m a little bit more nervous when I do gymnastics.
“I feel like I’m also not having as much fun and I know that.”
Her decision won praise online but also criticism for those who were accused of piling pressure on the star.
Simone Biles kicked everybody’s tail in 2018 with a kidney stone.
As great as she is, her toughness might be even better.
To do what she’s done at this level for 8 years is incredible.
Appreciate that no matter where this goes.
— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) July 27, 2021
“Simone Biles kicked everybody’s tail [at the world gymnastics championships] in 2018 with a kidney stone,” began one tweet from an AP reporter.
“As great as she is, her toughness might be even better. To do what she’s done at this level for eight years is incredible. Appreciate that no matter where this goes. Full stop.”
“Someone said it best yesterday: ‘Simone Biles is a PERSON, not a strategy.’ I hope everyone gives her some goddamn grace,” came another comment.
……all I know is y’all better keep it cute talking about Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles today.
And by cute I mean supportive and encouraging.
Keep it cute or put it on mute.
— Shanelle Genai✨ (@shanellegenai) July 27, 2021
“Simone Biles has carried this entire damn federation on her back since the first year of Obama’s second term,” another party pointed out.
“USA Gymnastics doesn’t deserve her and I am proud of her for doing what she needed to do to take care of herself.”
“These every four year fans who just tuned in have no clue what this woman has done for the sport. Shaking my damn head,” was a reply to that post.
No matter what, it’s still Simone Biles Tuesday! pic.twitter.com/dCZKmu38OF
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) July 27, 2021
“We lost Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles from the Olympics in a six-hour span while everyone was asleep. Safe to say, the Olympics are canceled,” lamented a US reporter, by also referencing the tennis ace’s defeat earlier this morning.
“We love you Simone Biles” said the host Andy Cohen alongside a stars and stripes banner, to his 2.3 million followers.
Although I’m just a VERY dumb Sports Stooge, I felt obligated to remind you.
You’re the greatest of all time.. ain’t nothing that happens in Tokyo can change that. Your effort, commitment, and UNBELIEVABLE talent have been a gift to us fans.
Cheers 🐐 pic.twitter.com/APsVSswGdn
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) July 27, 2021
“Dear Simone Biles,” began former NFL star and current sports color commentator Pat McAfee in an open letter, to a similar following.
“Although I’m just a VERY dumb Sports Stooge, I felt obligated to remind you. You’re the greatest of all time.. ain’t nothing that happens in Tokyo can change that.
“Your effort, commitment, and UNBELIEVABLE talent have been a gift to us fans. Cheers,” he signed off, alongside a meme of a young matchgoer tipping his ‘Respect’ cap.