Team USA gymnast Sam Mikulak backs Simone Biles, saying she's more than 'just a medal factory'

Team USA gymnast Sam Mikulak backs Simone Biles, saying she's more than 'just a medal factory'
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Sam Mikulak during the men's U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials Thursday, June 24, 2021, in St. Louis.
Sam Mikulak during the men's U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials Thursday, June 24, 2021, in St. Louis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
  • Team USA men's gymnastics athlete Sam Mikulak voiced support for Simone Biles on Tuesday.

  • He said she's more than "just a medal factory" after she withdrew from the team finals over mental health concerns.

  • "Her ability to stand against the expectations of the world, that's huge," he said.

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Team USA men's gymnastics athlete Sam Mikulak voiced his support for Simone Biles after she withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics team finals event on Tuesday over mental health concerns.

During an interview with WCNC Charlotte on Tuesday, Mikulak said Biles is more than "just a medal factory."

"Her ability to stand against the expectations of the world, that's huge stuff right there, and I gotta give mad props to her for being able to do that because I don't know anyone else that could have done that in her position," Mikulak, who regularly uses his social media platform to advocate for mental health, told WCNC.

He added that the pressure Biles likely feels is "immense."

"It's taken me a year just to be Sam Mikulak," he said of his own mental health journey. "And I was like, 'How does Simone go out there when everyone is counting on her relying on her?'"

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