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Bollywood heaps praise on Simone Biles after she withdraws from Tokyo Olympics to focus on mental health

News Agencies | Updated on: 28 July 2021, 21:38 IST
Simone Biles

Superstars Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, and more from the Bollywood fraternity have heaped praise on one of the most decorated American gymnast Simone Biles after she withdrew herself from Thursday's all-around competition to focus on her mental well-being.

Deepika Padukone, who herself has been quite vocal about her battle with depression, took to her Instagram handle to give a shout-out to Simone. Sharing the athlete's news screenshot by a news outlet, she wrote, "I hear you..." by adding hashtags: "#mentalhealth", '#mentalhealthmatters".

Alia Bhatt also took to her Instagram story, to amplify Simone's voice. Sharing the news, she wrote, "A reminder that your mental health is as important as your physical health. This helps change the narrative regarding mental health all over the world, more power to you."

Taking to his Instagram handle, Varun Dhawan also wrote, "What an inspiration! An important reminder to take care of your mental health along with your physical! A message for difficult times like these."

For the unversed, American gymnast Simone Biles has cited mental health concerns as her reason to pull out of the women's team final in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.

The Rio 2016 gold-medal-winning athlete doesn't want to put her "health and well-being" in danger.

"Whenever you get in a high-stress situation, you kind of freak out. I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being," CNN quoted Biles as saying.

"It just sucks when you're fighting with your own head," Biles broke down in tears while explaining her decision in a press conference.

The American gymnast said her team wanted her to go ahead and compete but she didn't want to put a medal at risk.

"I was like: I think the girls need to do the rest of the competition without me. They were like 'I promise you'll be fine, we watched you warm-up'. But I said 'no, I know I am going to be fine but I can't risk a medal for the team and I need to call it," said Biles.

Biles withdrew from the artistic gymnastics women's team final citing medical grounds, according to USA Gymnastics. The American bailed out of a two-and-a-half twisting vault after executing just one-and-a-half twists, taking a big step on her landing.

She then left the gym with a medic and minutes later pulled out her name from the remainder of the event.According to Olympics.com, though Biles had withdrawn from the team final, she is still eligible for the forthcoming individual all-around and apparatus finals.

The individual all-around is set for Thursday while the apparatus finals will take place from August 1-3, with Biles having qualified for all four: balance beam, vault, floor exercise, and uneven bars.

Last week, Biles had become the first Olympic athlete to have her own customized hashtag emoji on Twitter.


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First published: 28 July 2021, 21:38 IST