© 2023 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Simone Biles Now Realizes She's More Than Her Gymnastics Accomplishments

U.S. star Simone Biles has pulled out of the individual all-around final at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Gregory Bull
U.S. star Simone Biles has pulled out of the individual all-around final at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

U.S. gymnastics superstar Simone Biles says the wave of support she's received after pulling out of the two marquee events of Olympic women's gymnastics has changed the way she sees herself.

"the outpouring love & support I've received has made me realize I'm more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before," Biles said in a tweet.

The greatest gymnast of all time suddenly withdrew from the team final on Sunday, after a difficult vault. In comments later, she explained that she made the decision because she wanted to preserve her mental health.

On Wednesday, on the eve of the individual all-around final, USA Gymnastics said Biles would not compete.

Team USA has supported Biles' decision. "Your strength and courage to focus on your wellbeing is something we can all learn from," it said in a tweet. "Thank you for being the leader you are."

Current and former Olympians are also opening up about the pressures that face the world's top athletes.

"Simone Biles. Man, what an athlete and competitor. We put athletes on a high stage, but people forget the day-to-day grind, the demands and that all the hype takes a toll on a person," U.S. softball player Monica Abbott said. "Mental health is a big topic right now, it's probably one that hasn't discussed in the past when it needed to be."

Dominique Moceanu, a retired U.S. gymnast and gold medalist in 1996, said Biles' decision "demonstrates that we have a say in our own health—'a say' I NEVER felt I had as an Olympian."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content