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Simone Biles draws cheers — and jeers — for withdrawing from Olympic event over mental health

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Superstar Olympic gymnast Simone Biles had plenty of supporters after suddenly dropping out of the Olympics team finals, but not everyone was springing to her defense.

Biles, who announced on Tuesday that she will not compete in the women’s individual all-around final but could still medal in other individual events, said she withdrew to focus on her mental health. Without the woman many consider to be the greatest gymnast of all time, Team USA won the silver medal in Tuesday's event, finishing behind the Russian Olympic Committee team.

"Simon Biles calls herself the Greatest of All Time - but no GOAT would quit on their teammates like that, costing them an Olympic gold medal," wrote British journalist Piers Morgan. "Get back out there, Simone - you're a great champion not a quitter."


“Simone Biles can quit and never compete again if she doesn’t want to, but she quit on her team in the middle of the biggest event that they will have in five years," radio host and sports commentator Clay Travis said. "Her performance and/or failure to perform may well have cost her team the gold medal, and she brought this pressure onto herself by labeling herself as the GOAT, the ‘greatest of all time,’ on her leotard."


"A moment of undeniable strength from @simone_biles," wrote French soccer player Paul Pogba. "We always focus on the physical aspect of health but the mental aspect is just as important. When you take care of both, you will flourish in life!"


BILES WITHDRAWS FROM TOKYO'S ALL-AROUND FINAL, CITING FOCUS ON MENTAL HEALTH

Actress Mia Farrow praised Biles as "all class" for her honesty.

"It takes strength to admit weakness. It takes courage, after grueling years of training, to walk away from a life-long dream," Farrow said. "It takes humility to determine that teammates will likely score higher without her."


Republican Sen. Tim Scott branded the gymnast, as have many others, as the "GOAT," or greatest of all time.

"We have witnessed resilience & lion-heartedness in its rare form," Scott tweeted, including an emoji of a goat. "Let’s not forget, @Simone_Biles is the most decorated American gymnast…ever."


"This is Twilight Zone stuff — a bizarre kind of 'mental health' fundamentalism is overtaking the culture," wrote journalist Michael Tracy, who was responding to a New Yorker headline praising Biles for "radical courage." "She is genuinely receiving more plaudits for withdrawing from competition at the last second on supposed 'mental health' grounds than if she'd actually won the Gold Medal."


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Biles is being evaluated by team officials and may return to compete in the individual event finals in August, USA Gymnastics said Wednesday.

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Tags: News, Olympics, 2020 Olympics, Tokyo, gymnastics

Original Author: Jeremy Beaman

Original Location: Simone Biles draws cheers — and jeers — for withdrawing from Olympic event over mental health

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