Max Whitlock Came Out In Support Of Simone Bills After She Withdrew From Her Individual All-Around Final To Focus On Her Mental Health

Max Whitlock has led the messages of support for American gymnastics superstar Simone Biles after she withdrew from her individual all-round final to focus on her m-ental health. Biles, 24, the most successful US gymnast of all time, was a favourite to retain her Olympic title in the event but decided to pull out just a day after she dramatically withdrew from the team event final, with Jordan Chiles replacing her before Team USA went on to claim the silver medal.

The 24-year-old ad**tted on Tuesday she has been struggling with her mental health and dealing with the pr-essure at the Olympics, but has received huge support from the sporting world and her fellow athletes.

USA Gymnastics commended Biles for her ‘bravery’ and ‘courage’ in prioritising her wellbeing over competing in Thursday’s all-around final in a statement confirming her withdrawal from the event.

The statement read: ‘After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition. ‘We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in pri*ritiz!ng her wellbeing. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.’

Britain’s double Olympic champion Whitlock offered his support to Biles just minutes after the announcement and lavished praise on her for her accomplishments in the sport.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote: ‘You’ve pushed boundaries time and time again. Rest up and take time.’ US swimming legend Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 28 medals, talked about the need for m-ental health resources for Olympic athletes after Biles’ withdrawal, having revealed back in 2018 he su!fe*d with depression himself and contemplated s**ci*e after the 2012 London Games.

Speaking to The Athletic he said: ‘I hope this is an opportunity for us to jump on board and to even blow this m-ental health thing even more wide open. ‘We carry a lot of weight on our shoulders, and it’s challenging especially when we have the lights on us and all of these expectations being thrown on top of us.

‘We’re human beings. Nobody is perfect. It’s OK to not be OK. It’s OK to go through ups and down and emotional rollercoasters. The biggest thing is, we all need to ask for help when we go through those times. It was ha*d for me to ask for help.

‘I felt like I was carrying, like Simone said, the weight of the world on my shoulders. It’s a tough situation. I hope this is an eye-opening experience.’

. @Simone_Biles you’ve pushed boundaries time and time again. Rest up & take time

All my support to @Simone_Biles. Mental health is a key component of our health, and it MUST be a priority always. We need the sports world to focus on emotional and mental well-being a lot more.

Am I good enough? Yes, I am. The mantra I practice daily. @Simone_Biles, we are proud of you and we are ro-oting for you. Congratulations on the the silver medal, Team @USA! �� I’ve been thinking of #SimoneBiles all day. So very sorry she wasn’t feeling her best.

She showed true leadership in taking herself out of competition in order for her team to have a chance to medal. Sending her and the team love & support.

Really proud of @Simone_Biles for having the courage to make such a di!fic*lt decision. I encourage everyone to have compassion for her and try to understand the pressure she was dealing with. She’s a human being first and an athlete second. We can all learn from her courage.

Three-time Olympic medallist Paul Gasol, who is a Spanish basketball player, also sent a message to Biles, writing: ‘All my support to Simone Biles.

‘Mental health is a key component of our health, and it MUST be a priority always. We need the sports world to focus on emotional and mental well-being a lot more.’

Michelle Obama, tennis icon Billie Jean King, Coco Gauff and former football star Landon Donovan also sent messages of support to their compatriot.

Biles admitted to feeling the ‘weight of the world’ on her shoulders in the lead-up to the Olympics and openly spoke about her mental health struggles after the team event final on Tuesday.

The American withdrew halfway through that event after she stru*gl-ed with her first vault. Speaking after her gymnastics team-mates won the silver medal in her absence, Biles said: ‘I’m not in****ed. Just a little in*** to my pride.

‘After the performance I did, I just didn’t want to go on. ‘I have to focus on my m-ental health. ‘I just think m-ental health is more prevalent in sports right now… we have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.

‘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 are not just athletes, we’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back. ‘I did not want to go out and do something stupid and get h!t.

‘I feel like a lot of athletes speaking up has really helped. ‘It’s so big, it’s the Olympic Games, at the end of the day we don’t want to be carr!ed out of there on a stre-tch-er.

‘You have to be there 100 per cent or 120 per cent or you’re going to hurt yourself.’

In the USA Gymnastics statement released today, it stated that Biles has not yet decided if she will compete in her four other individual events next week.