(PatriotWise.com)- Citing her physical and mental health, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles announced this week that she was withdrawing from the US Olympic team final on Tuesday. The gold medalist said that she didn’t want to do something stupid and risk physical injury if her mental health wasn’t up to par. Biles believed the risk wasn’t worth it, especially when there were three “amazing athletes” who could step up and take her place.
Even without Biles, the US Gymnastics team was able to come away from competition with the silver medal while the Russian team surged ahead for the gold.
While some criticized Biles for withdrawing – offering the standard name-calling and insults — not everyone took such a harsh view. Among those more sympathetic was Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney.
Taking to Twitter, Senator Romney applauded Biles, saying that he loves and admires not just Biles, but all the US Olympians. Romney praised the US athletes for their “determination and sacrifice,” as well as their “greatness of human spirit” both in victory and defeat.
Absent from Romney’s tweet was any acknowledgement that some US athletes chose to set aside their “greatness of human spirit” in order to insult and attack the country they represent. Then again, Romney has a soft spot for anti-American activists. After all, he made a great show of marching with Black Lives Matter in DC during last summer’s violent protests.
The 24-year-old Biles has been a member of the US Gymnastics team since 2012. She has a combined 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, and has several moves named after her – for floor, balance beam and vault exercises.
Biles is also one of the victims of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar who sexually abused female athletes for years before being sentenced in 2018 to over one hundred years in prison for sexual abuse and child pornography.
After withdrawing from the team competition, the New York Times reported that Biles admitted that she had been “fighting all those demons” and could no longer hold them back. And while Biles arrived at the Tokyo Olympics “feeling pretty good,” dealing with those demons grew tougher by the day.
Her teammates, though disappointed, supported Biles’ decision. One of her teammates, Jordan Chiles admitted “We’ve all gone through it ourselves.”
The last time the US Gymnastics team lost a final in the Olympics or World Championship was in 2010.