Simone Biles thanks fans for 'love and support' after her shock withdrawal at ...

Simone Biles thanks fans for 'love and support' after her shock withdrawal at ...
Simone Biles thanks fans for 'love and support' after her shock withdrawal at ...

Team USA superstar gymnast Simone Biles has thanked her fans for their 'love and support' after her shock withdrawal from the individual all-around final at the Tokyo Olympics

'The outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before,' Biles tweeted on Wednesday night. 

Biles, who won four gold medals at the Rio 2016 Games, including the individual all-around title, announced early on Wednesday morning that she has chosen not to defend her title, after consulting with USA Gymnastics officials following her sudden withdrawal from the team competition on Tuesday. 

The decision to withdraw from the team final - following a very uncharacteristic error on her first event, the vault - sparked furious controversy online, with critics accusing her of 'abandoning' her three teammates, two of whom were forced to take her place in the three other events at the last minute. 

Biles later hinted that the horrific sexual abuse she endured at the hands of pedophile doctor Larry Nassar is behind the mental health issues that prompted her shock withdrawal.

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The 24-year-old drew a line between the trauma of Nassar's abuse and her decision to pull out of both the team and individual all-around medal events for the first time when she retweeted a statement of support from a fellow gymnast - who hit out at critics of the sporting superstar, while reminding the world that Biles was 'molested by her team doctor throughout her entire childhood'. 

'We are talking about the same girl who was molested by her team doctor throughout her entire childhood and teenage years,' the statement, which was written by former gymnast-turned-fitness trainer Andrea Orris, read. 

It continued: 'That girl has endured more trauma by the age of 24 than most people will ever go through in a lifetime.' 

Although Biles, who was seen for the first time since the announcement when she stepped out to cheer on Team USA's male gymnasts in Tokyo, did not issue her own statement about Nassar or her decision to pull out of the all-around, a US official told DailyMail.com that Orris' message 'sums up everything Simone is feeling and wants to say'. 

The source continued: 'The fact that Simone has retweeted it, shows that she agrees with every word that’s been said on her behalf.' 

Biles, who has been incredibly outspoken in her criticism of USAG's handling of the Nassar scandal, and her struggle to deal with the resulting trauma of his abuse, did not share her own statement - instead allowing the news to be shared by the organization that she has so frequently blasted for 'failing' to protect its gymnasts from the pedophile doctor.

Simone Biles thanked her fans for their 'love and support' after her shock withdrawal from the individual all-around final at the Tokyo Olympics in a tweet on Wednesday

Simone Biles thanked her fans for their 'love and support' after her shock withdrawal from the individual all-around final at the Tokyo Olympics in a tweet on Wednesday

Simone Biles (pictured today in Tokyo) has hinted that the abuse she suffered at the hands of pedophile doctor Larry Nassar is behind the mental health issues that pushed her to withdraw from the team and individual all-around finals

Simone Biles (pictured today in Tokyo) has hinted that the abuse she suffered at the hands of pedophile doctor Larry Nassar is behind the mental health issues that pushed her to withdraw from the team and individual all-around finals 

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The 24-year-old revealed in 2018 that she was one of more than 150 gymnasts abused by the former national team doctor during his 30-year career and she later admitted that the trauma of the abuse left her suffering with suicidal thoughts

The 24-year-old revealed in 2018 that she was one of more than 150 gymnasts abused by the former national team doctor (pictured) during his 30-year career and she later admitted that the trauma of the abuse left her suffering with suicidal thoughts

The 24-year-old revealed in 2018 that she was one of more than 150 gymnasts abused by the former national team doctor (right) during his 30-year career and she later admitted that the trauma of the abuse left her suffering with suicidal thoughts

Biles (seen with teammate Mykayla Skinner) retweeted a message of support from a former gymnast defending her decision to pull out of two finals, which read, in part: 'We are talking about the same girl who was molested by her team doctor'

Biles (seen with teammate Mykayla Skinner) retweeted a message of support from a former gymnast defending her decision to pull out of two finals, which read, in part: 'We are talking about the same girl who was molested by her team doctor'

Despite the controversy surrounding her decision, Biles was seen smiling and waving to the crowds as she joined teammate Mykayla Skinner, 24, in cheering on the men's team in the Ariake arena

Despite the controversy surrounding her decision, Biles was seen smiling and waving to the crowds as she joined teammate Mykayla Skinner, 24, in cheering on the men's team in the Ariake arena

Despite the controversy surrounding her decision, Biles was seen smiling and waving to the crowds as she joined teammate Mykayla Skinner, 24, in cheering on the men's team in the Ariake arena 

'After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health,' the statement read. 

'Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week's individual event finals. 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.' 

Biles retweeted this message from Los Angeles fitness trainer Andrea Orris on Wednesday

Biles is one of more than 150 gymnasts who were abused by Nassar, the former national team doctor, during his 30-year career, and in 2019, she revealed that the trauma of the assaults had left her struggling with suicidal thoughts. 

She also re-posted a tweet that claimed her decision to pull out of the team final actually 'helped' the US to win a silver medal

She also re-posted a tweet that claimed her decision to pull out of the team final actually 'helped' the US to win a silver medal

At the time, she admitted that she was 'sleeping all the time' because it was 'the closest thing to death', while revealing that she was undergoing therapy in order to deal with the abuse. 

Now, for the first time, Biles, who is believed to be the only Nassar victim still competing on an international level, has indicated that the abuse - and the fallout from the scandal - led to her decision to pull out of the team final and the all-around final.

Biles' fellow Team USA gymnast Jade Carey, 21, who finished ninth in qualifying, will take her place in the all-around. 

Carey initially did not qualify because she was the third-ranking American gymnast behind Biles and Sunisa Lee; International Gymnastics Federation rules state that only two athletes per country can take part in the individual event finals.  

Following Tuesday's withdrawal, where the US ultimately finished second to the Russian Olympic Committee, Biles - widely referred to as the the 'greatest of all time' (GOAT) in her sport - said she wanted to concentrate on 'what's right for me and focus on my mental health'.

Speaking about her sensational exit from competition, which cleared the way for Team USA's Russian rivals to claim gold in a dramatic upset, Biles said that she made the decision both to prioritize her own 'wellbeing' - and out of fear that she would cost her teammates their shot at winning a medal. 

'To focus on my wellbeing,' she told reporters of her reasons for pulling out of the competition following a shock flub on the vault, echoing the statement issued by tennis pro Naomi Osaka, 23, when she pulled out of the French Open earlier this year because of her own mental health struggles.

'It is very unfortunate that it has to happen at this stage because I definitely wanted this Olympics to go a little bit better but again, we'll take it one day at a time and we're going to see how the rest goes.' 

She later added: 'I just don't trust myself as much as I used to. I don't know if it's age, but I'm a little bit more nervous when I do gymnastics.

'I feel like I'm also not having as much fun, and I know that this Olympic Games I wanted to do it for myself, and I was still doing it for other people, so that just hurts my heart badly, that doing what I love has been taken away.  

Pictured: The full statement from USA Gymnastics posted on social media announcing Biles' withdrawal from the all-around competition

Pictured: The full statement from USA Gymnastics posted on social media announcing Biles' withdrawal from the all-around competition

Biles' appearance at the men's competition is the first time she has been seen in public since her withdrawal from the all-around was announced

Biles' appearance at the men's competition is the first time she has been seen in public since her withdrawal from the all-around was announced

Biles' appearance at the men's competition is the first time she has been seen in public since her withdrawal from the all-around was announced 

She sat in between male gymnast Alec Yoder and teammate Mykayla Skinner, whose Olympics came to an end during the qualifying events, when she failed to earn a spot in any of the individual finals

She sat in between male gymnast Alec Yoder and teammate Mykayla Skinner, whose Olympics came to an end during the qualifying events, when she failed to earn a spot in any of the individual finals 

Biles pepped up at one point and was seen blowing a kiss to the cameras

Biles pepped up at one point and was seen blowing a kiss to the cameras

Biles pepped up at one point and was seen blowing a kiss to the cameras 

'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. It just sucks when you're fighting with your own head.'  

She doubled down on her statement about not wanting to jeopardize her team's shot at a medal on Wednesday, when she re-posted a tweet in which it was pointed out that she could have cost her teammates their second-place finish if she had continued competing in the final. 

'....did she cost the team a gold medal? Or did her decision help her team win a silver medal? ....because if she had a really bad performance her team would not have placed at all,' the tweet read.  

While Biles' decision to withdraw from the team final drew much backlash, dozens of social media users have also spoken out in defense of the athlete - with popstar Justin Bieber voicing his support of the gymnast on Instagram on Wednesday afternoon, comparing her decision to withdraw from the finals to his own choice to end his Purpose tour mid-way through in 2017. 

'Nobody will ever understand the pressures you face! I know we don’t know each other but I’m so proud of the decision to withdraw. It’s as simple as - what does it mean to gain the whole world but forfeit your soul,' the singer wrote in a lengthy captioned that was posted alongside a photo of Biles. 

'Sometimes our no’s are more powerful than our yes’s. When what you normally love starts to steal your joy it’s important we take a step back to evaluate why.

'People thought I was crazy for not finishing the purpose tour but it was the best thing I could have done for my mental health!! So proud of you @simonebiles.'

Her supporters also included Orris, who slammed Biles' critics while praising her for 'all she has done for the sport'. 

'It makes me so frustrated to see comments about Simone not being mentally tough enough or quitting on her team,' she statement - which was posted on Twitter by martial artist Brandon Marino and then retweeted by Simone - began. 

Orris continued: 'We are talking about the same girl who... won the world all-around championship title while passing a kidney stone. Put her body through an extra year of training through the pandemic. Added so much difficulty to her routines that the judges literally do not know how to properly rate her skills [because] they are so ahead of her time. 

'All this while maintaining her responsibilities to her endorsement deals, the media, personal relationships, etc. And some people can still honestly say, "Simone Biles is soft. She is a quitter."' 

The former gymnast, who is based in Los Angeles and is not known to have ever trained with Biles, pointed out that the error made by the 2016 Olympic all-around champion on vault would have left the majority of athletes suffering from a serious injury, explaining that there are few people who could have managed to land on their feet after bailing on a skill in mid-air. 

'For non-gymnasts, the fact that she balked mid-air and accidentally did a 1.5 on her first vault instead of a 2.5 is a big deal. It's terrifying,' Orris stated. 'She could have been severely injured getting lost in the air like that. The fact she somehow landed on her feet shows her experience and is incredible.'  

 

Biles posted an affectionate message on Instagram this morning to her teammate Jordan Chiles, along with a picture of them both dancing with their silver medals

Biles posted an affectionate message on Instagram this morning to her teammate Jordan Chiles, along with a picture of them both dancing with their silver medals

Shortly after re-posting the statement on her own Twitter account, Biles was seen publicly for the first time since announcing her shock withdrawal from the all-around final. 

The gymnast was seen cheering on Team USA's male gymnasts in Tokyo while sitting alongside her teammate Mykayla Skinner. 

Although she initially smiled and waved for the cameras - even blowing kisses at the photographers at one point - the gymnast appeared to struggle in the spotlight, and was seen briefly putting her head in her hands. 

She was also pictured holding hands with Skinner while watching her male teammates compete.   

One onlooker said: 'I can’t believe that she is here after she made such a big deal about wanting to stay out of the public eye and find some peace.

'It just doesn’t add up. Why is she back in the public arena. Why isn’t she just resting and recovering.'

Interestingly, Skinner's future at the Olympics Games actually rests on Biles' decision about whether or not to compete in the remaining four event finals that she has qualified for. 

Skinner narrowly missed out on a place in the vault final because of the two-athlete-per-country rule - despite finishing in fourth place in the qualifying round, behind Biles, Carey, and Brazilian gymnast Rebeca Andrade. Should Biles choose to pull out of the event, Skinner would be next in line to take her spot - just as Carey has now done for the all-around final. 

Before Biles' Olympic future was thrown into doubt, Skinner had expressed her 'heartbreak' over her failure to qualify for any individual finals, which meant that her competition ended after the first day of events.  

In the other event finals, Biles' spot would be handed to athletes from other countries; on the uneven bars, she would likely be replaced by French athlete Mélanie de Jesus dos Santos, while Japan's Urara Ashikawa would be given a chance on the balance beam. British gymnast Jennifer Gadirova, who helped to propel her team to a surprise bronze medal finish in Tuesday's competition, is next in line to compete in the floor exercise. 

As well as stepping out to cheer on her male teammates, Biles also posted an affectionate message on Instagram this morning to her teammate Chiles, along with a picture of them both dancing with the silver medals.

She wrote:' Love you, so happy for you!!!!!!!'

Chiles also posted a picture of them together in front of an emblem of the Olympic rings and wrote: 'To my best friend, just thinking about everything we have gone through together …from us getting mad at each other for no reason to laughing at jokes, to bringing the love of this sport back to me with your help words can't explain how proud I am of you.

'I LOVE YOU and am literally crying just thinking about everything. WE did this together. 

'This medal is definitely for (Biles),' Chiles told reporters. 'If it wasn't for her, we wouldn't be here where we are right now. We wouldn't be a silver medalist because of who she is as a person.' 

Biles came to Tokyo as arguably the face of the Games following the retirement of swimmer Michael Phelps and sprinter Usain Bolt.

She topped qualifying on Sunday despite piling up mandatory deductions on vault, floor and beam following shaky dismounts. 

She posted on social media on Monday that she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. The weight became too heavy after vaulting during team finals. She lost herself in mid-air and completed 1 1/2 twists instead of 2 1/2. She consulted with U.S. team doctor Marcia Faustin before walking off the field of play.

Support: Popstar Justin Bieber spoke out to praise Biles in a candid Instagram caption on Wednesday, when he compared her withdrawal from the finals to his own cancelation of his Purpose tour in 2017

Support: Popstar Justin Bieber spoke out to praise Biles in a candid Instagram caption on Wednesday, when he compared her withdrawal from the finals to his own cancelation of his Purpose tour in 2017

The four-time gold medal winner has quit tomorrow night¿s individual all-round event and will not be able to defend her Olympic title

The four-time gold medal winner has quit tomorrow night's individual all-round event and will not be able to defend her Olympic title

When she returned, she took off her bar grips, hugged teammates Sunisa, Grace and Jordan and turned into the team's head cheerleader as the U.S. claimed silver behind the Russian Olympic Committee.

'Once I came out here (to compete), I was like, `No mental is, not there so I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself,'' Biles said following the medal ceremony.  

The 24-year-old had pulled out after one rotation of the women's team final on Tuesday in Tokyo, citing mental health concerns. 

An American Olympic official told MailOnline: 'It might have been too soon for Simone to re-appear on the Olympic stage tomorrow night. We support her decision to withdraw.

Will Simone Biles continue ANY of her individual quests for gold? Gymnast's finals thrown into doubt 

After her shock withdrawal from the team final and tomorrow's individual all-round, Simone Biles' future at the Tokyo Olympics is in serious doubt. 

She is still scheduled to take part in the finals for the vault, uneven bars, floor exercise, and balance beam. 

Should she choose to take part - and provided she gets the all-clear from USA Gymnastics - Biles' upcoming events schedule is: 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 1: Vault final and uneven bars final MONDAY, AUGUST 2: Floor exercise final  TUESDAY, AUGUST 3: Balance beam final

Biles struggled in qualifying for these events, ending up in the eighth and final spot for uneven bars, the sixth spot for balance beam, and the second spot on floor exercise.

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'There would have been even greater attention on her and that is the very thing which has been adding to her state of mind. It cannot be easy for her.

'But she is receiving a lot of help and guidance - and a whole lotta love as well.

'You have seen what she said about mindfulness and that is the big priority for all of us.

'Anything she does at these Olympics will ultimately be in the best interest for her. She just needs to get some rest and we all need to evaluate the next step.

'It has to be 100 per cent Simone's health first. She is already an Olympic champion and has no reason to feel anything but pride.

But it was revealed that behind then scenes Simone was in tears with officials and talking about 'demons' which had been affecting her mental state.

After yesterday's withdrawal, Biles had spoken out to praise the 'bravery' of her Olympic teammates and thank them for 'stepping up when she couldn't'.

The 24-year-old cited her mental health struggles as the reason for her shock exit, said she made the decision to prioritize her own 'wellbeing' while insisting 'there is more to life than just gymnastics'.   

'It is very unfortunate that it has to happen at this stage because I definitely wanted this Olympics to go a little bit better but again, we'll take it one day at a time and we're going to see how the rest goes,' Biles told reporters.

The gymnast also insisted that her decision to pull out of the competition after just

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