USA Gymnastics star Simone Biles took to Twitter on Wednesday night to thank fans and observers for all the love and support she's received after the Americans won silver at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this week.
Biles stepped back from her prepared performances during Tuesday's team event, noting that she was struggling mentally during her routines and feared a mistake could cost her teammates a medal. Her actions have contributed to a worldwide conversation about the mental health of Olympians and what more can be done to support individuals at the games.
"It's been really stressful this Olympic Games," Biles said Tuesday. "It’s been a long week, a long Olympic process, a long year. I think we're a little too stressed out. We should be out here having fun and that's just not the case."
Biles has made relatively few statements since Tuesday, speaking with NBC's Today and providing more details through USA Gymnastics. She will not compete in the final individual all-around competition Thursday and instead will take time to prioritize her well-being.
USA Gymnastics @USAGym
After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition. We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many. <a href="https://t.co/6ILdtSQF7o">pic.twitter.com/6ILdtSQF7o</a>
The gymnastics community, in particular, quickly came to her defense, explaining the danger posed by the "twisties"—the sport's version of the yips, in which athletes are unable to trust muscle memory when flying through the air.
Former USA Gymnastics star Nastia Liukin has gone into depth about the issue during NBC's Olympics coverage while Biles' teammates have continued to promote Biles' exemplary leadership both as a teammate and in knowing when to step back to ensure the Americans ended up on the podium.
It's unclear if Biles will return at all during the Olympics.