Justin Bieber, Paul Pogba and Ronda Rousey rally around Simone Biles after she pulls out of Olympics over mental health

SIMONE BILES has received widespread support after she took the decision to pull out of two Tokyo 2020 Olympics events.

The gymnast, 24, said on Tuesday that she "didn't want to be dragged out on stretcher," adding: "We have to protect our body and our mind."

This came as she pulled out half-way through the US's team competition. She then decided to withdraw from Thursday's individual competition too.

Biles, who has thanked fans for their support, is listed for four more individual events next week, with a decision still to be taken on these.

Manchester United star Paul Pogba was just one world famous sporting star to offer his support.

The 28-year-old World Cup winner tweeted: "A moment of undeniable strength from @simone_biles.

"We always focus on the physical aspect of health but the mental aspect is just as important. When you take care of both, you will flourish in life!"

He went on to describe the 24-year-old as the GOAT (greatest of all time).

Tennis star Coco Gauff also posted on the social media site, writing: "We love you and we are with you @Simone_Biles."

And legend of the tennis court Billie Jean King also praised her fellow American.

She wrote: "I’ve been thinking of #SimoneBiles all day. So very sorry she wasn’t feeling her best.

"She showed true leadership in taking herself out of competition in order for her team to have a chance to medal. Sending her and the team love & support."

Team GB gymnast Max Whitlock added: "@Simone_Biles you’ve pushed boundaries time and time again. Rest up & take time."

Pop sensation Justin Bieber also posted out his support to Biles with a heartfelt Instagram message.

He wrote: "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?

"Sometimes, our nos are more powerful than our yes'. 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, Simone."

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Former First Lady of the US Michelle Obama wrote: "@Simone_Biles we are proud of you and we are rooting for you."

Biles' decision to pull out was not met with sympathy from controversial former Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan.

He was critical that Biles 'left her team' and 'quit'. Then hours later he looked to defuse the situation by praising the American.

Alongside a picture of himself and Biles, Morgan wrote on Instagram: "You're a great champion @simonebiles (as I had reaffirmed when we met 2yrs ago) and great champions don’t quit – they get back on their feet when they get knocked down.

"So, re-engage in these Olympic Games, win Gold, & inspire with the power of resilience not resignation. Go for it."

UFC legend Ronda Rousey was keen to slam anyone criticising Biles' decision.

She wrote on Twitter: "Everyone judging Simone Biles doesn't know their foot from their a**hole when it comes to being in her position.

"She's on the Olympic team while you're on Twitter. Whatever is going on cannot be grasped from outside. She's doing the absolute best she can given the situation she's in."

Gymnastics' most dominant star and biggest name admitted she is struggling to cope with the weight of expectation.

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

The 24-year-old was praised for her candid admission in which she declared she wanted to “protect my mental well-being”.

A USA gymnastics statement read: "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.

"Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participated in next week's individual events finals.

"Jade Carey, who had the ninth-highest score in qualifications, will participate in her place in the all-around.

"We wholeheartedly support Simone's decision and applaud her bravery in prioritising her well-being.

"Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many."


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