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Simone Biles Withdraws from the Olympics to Focus on Mental Health

Simone Biles was expected to dominate the Summer Olympics in Tokyo with the rest of the USA women’s gymnastics team, but she decided to take a step back. After withdrawing from the team finals in Tokyo, Biles also decided to miss the finals of the individual all-around competition, citing mental health concerns as the reason for her exit. Despite stepping aside from the team final, Biles returned to the floor to cheer on her teammates Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee, and Grace McCallum. The defending champions failed to score a victory but managed to collect silver medals after losing to the Russian Olympic Committee. Shortly after missing out on team events, Biles announced her decision to withdraw from the individual all-around final, as well. She received an outpouring of support after revealing she decided to pull out because she wants to prioritize her mental wellbeing in this moment of immense pressure. “After the performance I did, I just didn't want to go on. I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental 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,” explained Biles.