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Mental health doctors and fellow gymnasts applaud Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from Olympics – Marin Independent Journal

Star gymnast and fan favorite Simone Biles has chosen to take a step back from the U.S. team gymnastics final of the Tokyo Olympics, citing mental health issues, a decision that doctors and fellow gymnasts have applauded.

“I just felt like it would be a little better to take a back seat, work on my mindfulness, and I knew the girls would do an absolutely amazing job, and I didn’t want to risk the team a medal. for my bullshit,” Biles said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Biles said the Games were “very stressful”, adding later, “That’s why we have teammates. Because if someone is feeling down, you need to step in, and they did just that, so kudos to them.

The gymnastics phenom had just completed shaky floor and jumping routine performances.

Biles’ decision was met with overwhelming support from her teammates, who won a silver medal, and other Olympic gymnasts.

American gymnast Jordan Chiles, who was forced to replace Biles on bars and beam, said: “This medal is definitely for her. Because if it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t be where we are now. We wouldn’t be Olympic silver medalists because of who she is as a person. Kudos to her, my daughter. That’s all for you. You are part of this team. You deserve it too.

Aly Raisman, former Olympic gymnast and Boston resident, said on the Today Show, “It’s really tough. It’s so much pressure…everyone in the world is watching and admiring you and there’s not much room for error.

Biles isn’t the first elite athlete to speak out about mental health issues.

Naomi Osaka recently withdrew from the French Open after experiencing anxiety and bouts of depression. 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps also spoke about his experiences with depression and suicide.

Dr Kelly Karl, deputy director of behavioral health services at Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Brighton, said the openness can help pave the way for others to seek help or take a break.

“Taking the time to work on yourself, even if it’s on the biggest stage in the world, shows a level of self-awareness and a need for introspection that we don’t see much of,” Karl told the Herald.

Karl said Biles and other athletes like Osaka are good role models for taking care of yourself and knowing your limits.

“It’s important to humanize these amazing athletes because they’ve put themselves through things that I can’t even imagine,” Karl said.

She added: “As a mental health clinician, we really appreciate people speaking up and giving their perspective.”

Biles said she takes things day by day. She could continue to compete for the rest of the Games if she chooses to do so.

Biles encouraged her teammates on Tuesday in an Instagram post that read, “They stepped in when I couldn’t/Thank you for being there and having my back! Love you forever.

Herald wire services contributed to this report.

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