Simone Biles pulls out of all-around final after critics accuse her of 'abandoning' teammates

Simone Biles' shocking withdrawal from the women's gymnastics team final after one event has sparked debate on the internet


                            Simone Biles pulls out of all-around final after critics accuse her of 'abandoning' teammates
Simone Biles (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Simone Biles shocked the world on Tuesday, July 27, when she announced her withdrawal from the women's gymnastics team final after one event during Tokyo Olympics to take care of her mental health. The six-time Olympic medalist took the decision after botching her vault during her first event of the day. While many personalities, like Hoda Kotb, Ellen DeGeneres and Chelsea Handler praised her and supported her decision, there were many who accused her of leaving her teammates on the world stage when they were counting on her.

Kotb tweeted, “Someone said it best. @Simone_Biles already won. She is a class act. Withdrew from team competion after vault... stayed and cheered on her teammates... got them chalk for their hands.. encouraged.. hugged them.  She already won. Congrats on the silver medal! @TeamUSA @USAGym.” DeGeneres said, “. @Simone_Biles , you're solid gold in my book.” “. @Simone_Biles drew a boundary for herself and her health on the world stage. This is real superhuman strength, setting an example for all of us,” Handler added.

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Simone Biles of Team United States smiles during the Women's Team Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Even White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki sent words of encouragement and support to Biles after her dramatic exit. “Gratitude and support are what @Simone_Biles deserves. Still the GOAT and we are all just lucky to be able to see her in action. And congrats and tks to the tough as nails #TeamUSA @sunisalee_ , @ChilesJordan , @grace_mccallum2 for being role models and champs,” Psaki wrote. Former first lady Michelle Obama added: “Am I good enough? Yes, I am. The mantra I practice daily. @Simone_Biles , we are proud of you and we are rooting for you. Congratulations on the the silver medal, Team @USA!”



 



 

Simone Biles of Team United states competes on vault during the Women's Team Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

But critics did not seem impressed with Biles’ decision to prioritize her mental health over her Olympics. A user tweeted, “Medical issue? Sort of looked like Simone Biles gave up in anger after her vault landing wasn’t perfect and abandoned the team in a huff of disappointment. I’m sure the pressure was immense but she walked out on her team mid-event.” Another critic said, “Bad Look for Simone Biles. The really Great Ones don’t Run from Adversity, they face it head on and Persevere.” “As you defend Simone biles, ask yourself if Kobe or Jordan or whatever athlete you admire would walk away when everything was on the line,” a person added.



 



 



 

When Biles spoke about her decision, she told reporters, “And you know, there's more to life than just gymnastics. It is very unfortunate that it has to happen at this stage because I definitely wanted this Olympics to go a little bit better but again, we'll take it one day at a time and we're going to see how the rest goes.”

Simone Biles of Team United States stumbles upon landing after competing in vault during the Women's Team Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

She continued, “I thought it was best that these girls took over the job which they absolutely did. They are Olympic silver medalists now and they should be really proud of themselves now for how well they did last minute,” before adding that she’s “dealing with some things internally.” The 24-year-old athlete also initially told a BBC reporter that she will participate in the upcoming all-around final. However, the latest official statement read that she won't compete in Thursday's (29 July) women's all-around final.



 

A statement from the governing body stated: “After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health. Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals. Jade Carey, who had the ninth highest score in qualifications, will participate in her place in the all-around. We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”

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