Late last night – or early in the morning depending on where you live – those in the United States woke up to stunning news.
United States superstar gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the women’s team gymnastics competition in Tokyo. Without Biles, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team still won the silver medal.
Biles made it very clear she wasn’t in the right frame of mind to compete at the highest level. “I didn’t want to go into any of the other events second-guessing myself,” Biles said, per the Associated Press. “So, I thought it would be better if I took a step back and let these girls go out there and do their job.”
In the hours since her shocking announcement, fans from all over the world have offered support for Biles. Add former U.S. superstar swimmer Michael Phelps to that growing list.
Michael Phelps on Simone Biles: "We carry a lot of weight on our shoulders, and it's challenging especially when we have the lights on us and all of these expectations being thrown on top of us."
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) July 28, 2021
“We carry a lot of weight on our shoulders, and it’s challenging especially when we have the lights on us and all of these expectations being thrown on top of us,” Phelps said tonight.
As someone who has battled mental health issues in the past, Phelps knows how difficult it is to know when to ask for help.
“We’re human beings. Nobody is perfect. It’s OK to not be OK. It’s OK to go through ups and down and emotional rollercoasters. The biggest thing is, we all need to ask for help when we go through those times. … It was hard for me to ask for help.”
Michael Phelps clearly supports Biles and her decision.