- Several politicians praised Simone Biles after she pulled out of an Olympics event.
- “I love and admire Simone Biles and our Olympians,” Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah tweeted.
- Biles withdrew from the team competition, citing mental health concerns.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Several public figures and politicians threw their support behind US gymnastics champion Simone Biles after she decided to pull out from a team Olympics event on Tuesday.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama tagged Biles in a tweet on Tuesday evening and wrote: “Am I good enough? Yes, I am. The mantra I practice daily.”
“We are proud of you and we are rooting for you,” she added.
GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah similarly commended the superstar gymnast, writing in a tweet: “I love and admire Simone Biles and our Olympians.”
“Beyond their determination and sacrifice, they evidence the greatness of the human spirit, in victory and in defeat,” he continued. “I take pride in them, not so much for the medals they win as for the grace, humanity & character of their hearts.”
Biles sent shockwaves through the Olympic Games on Tuesday when she unexpectedly withdrew from Team USA’s group competition in Tokyo, Japan, after she scored low marks on her opening vault routine. USA went on to earn silver in the women’s gymnastics team final.
-Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 27, 2021
The 24-year-old athlete later revealed that she dropped out due to mental health concerns.
“I have to put my pride aside. I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being,” she told reporters. “That’s why I decided to take a step back.”
Biles also cited the stress of the global sporting competition and the pressure to perform well for others as reasons for her exit. She announced on Wednesday that she will also not participate in the individual all-around final at the Olympics, set to take place Thursday.
-Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) July 28, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged the move in a press briefing on Wednesday.
“God bless our athletes. We admire them for their skill, and their discipline, and their focus, and their talent,” the top Democrat said. “And we admire them as athletes, but we admire them as people for having the strength to walk away from all that.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called Biles’ withdrawal “courageous” and congratulated the rest of the women’s gymnastics team on Twitter on Tuesday evening.
-Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) July 28, 2021
Other members of Congress also tipped their hat to Biles for pulling out of the competition.
Rep. Lori Trahan of Massachusetts described her as an “American icon” and “inspiration to young women across the world.”
“She’s also human, and her decision to put her mental health first is once again setting an incredible example for all of us,” Trahan added. “We’ve got your back, Simone.”
Rep. Ritchie Torres of New York tweeted that Biles’ “decision to put her mental health first is a testament to her character, bravery & will help #EndTheStigma” around mental health.
“We stand with her & congratulate the USA gymnastics team on bringing home the silver,” he said.