KEY POINTS

  • Simone Biles withdrew from Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health
  • Her decision has sparked a debate over sportsmanship and mental health issues
  • Biles was replaced by Jade Carey in the all-around finals

Simone Biles shocked everyone when she decided to pull out of two gymnastics finals she was due to take part in at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Game.

Biles cited poor mental health as the reason, and added she was struggling with the pressure of living up to people’s expectations after winning four gold medals at the 2016 games in Rio.

"We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day, we’re human, too," Biles said in her interviews. "So, we have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do."

As her decision led to the U.S. receiving a silver, many celebs came forward to support the most decorated gymnast in American history, and encouraged her to make her mental health a priority.

Justin Bieber took to Instagram on Wednesday to show his support and admiration toward Biles.

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 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."

Kerry Washington was another celebrity who took to social media to applaud Biles' "strength" and "bravery" for putting her health first. 

The "Scandal" star also went on to remind those who were upset with Biles' decision that after winning five gold medals for the U.S. she deserves some time for herself.

"When you win the USA 5 Gold Medals and 1 Silver Medal, you deserve to take some time for yourself. @Simone_Biles , WE LOVE YOU" she tweeted.

Former Grammy Award winner Janet Jackson lauded Biles for putting herself first. Jackson tweeted: "Sending luv and prayers to you. Putting your mental health 1st IS putting you 1st. I stand with you"

Taraji P. Henson, who is renowned for spreading awareness about the importance of mental health especially among the Black Community through her Facebook Watch series “Peace Of Mind with Taraji,” sent lots of love and support through her Instagram post.

Following the outpouring of support she received, Biles took to Twitter to thank everyone.

Post her exit, Biles has now been replaced by Jade Carey in the all-around finals.

Gymnastics star Simone Biles is part of a US team going for Olympic gold in the women's team event Gymnastics star Simone Biles is part of a US team going for Olympic gold in the women's team event Photo: AFP / Loic VENANCE