Simone Biles has thanked all those who have sent messages of support following her withdrawal from the all-around competition on account of mental health concerns.
Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, was the face of the US challenge for Tokyo 2020, with the 24-year-old hotly tipped to become the most decorated gymnast in Games history.
There were concerns expressed for her well-being when she posted a message saying she was feeling the weight of expectation after a below-par effort in qualifying for the all-around competition.
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She subsequently pulled out of the team event after her vault, and later confirmed her absence from the all-around competition.
US gymnastics later confirmed Biles was suffering from the 'twisties' - a condition whereby gymnasts lose their sense of space and dimension when they are in the air.
Messages of support have come in for Biles, with Olympic long jump champion and Eurosport pundit Greg Rutherford saying that the American’s actions in speaking out can help save other athletes from going through mental turmoil.
The support for Biles has been virtually universal, and she took to Twitter on Thursday to express her thanks.
“The outpouring of love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before,” Biles wrote on Twitter.

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