KEY POINTS

  • Simone Biles is receiving praises worldwide to make mental health her priority
  • The gymnast won four gold medals at the Rio Games
  • She has a total of 27 gold medals across all competitions

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba spoke in support of Simone Biles after the American gymnast withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics 2020 to focus on her mental health.

Biles, who won a silver medal in the Women's artistic team all-around, announced Thursday that she would not be participating in the individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Games. Earlier, she had opted out of the remaining team events as well, earning praise from other top athletes for making her well-being first priority amid the immense pressure of the Summer Olympics.

Pogba, who was among the several celebrities who backed Biles’ decision, took to Twitter Wednesday to hail Biles, calling her the “Goat” (Greatest of All-Time).

“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! #SimoneBiles GOAT,” wrote Pogba on his official Twitter account.

"After a further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health. 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," USA Gymnastics said in a statement Wednesday.

Having won a total of 27 gold medals, including four in the Olympics, Biles is the most decorated American gymnast and is regarded as one of the greatest and most dominant gymnasts of all time. Biles was just 19 years old when she got featured at the Rio Games in 2016. She finished the competition with four gold medals and a bronze.

The young athlete is also the gymnast with the most World medals (25) and most World gold medals (19), having surpassed Vitaly Scherbo's record of 23 World medals by winning her 24th and 25th medals, both gold, at the 2019 competition in Stuttgart.

USA's Simone Biles looks on after scratching from the artistic gymnastics women's team final on Tuesday USA's Simone Biles looks on after scratching from the artistic gymnastics women's team final on Tuesday Photo: AFP / Martin BUREAU

The Tokyo Games was originally scheduled to be held in 2020. But the multi-nation competition was pushed back by a year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.