Michelle Obama Speaks Out On Simone Biles' Olympics Exit

The world was shocked when Simone Biles withdrew midway through the women's gymnastics team final in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on July 27. Biles, considered to be the greatest gymnast of all time, cited mental health concerns as the reason for her withdrawal, according to CNN. "I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being," Biles told reporters after the competition in which Team USA won Silver.

One day after Biles' shocking decision, USA Gymnastics confirmed in a tweet that she would also not be defending her all around title after she withdrew from the event, which was set to start on July 29, "to focus on her mental health." The two-time Olympian and winningest gymnast in world history will undergo further evaluation before a decision is made on whether she'll compete in the individual apparatus scheduled for next week.

Biles' decision to put her mental health first at such an important competition has garnered praise and support from Olympic greats like swimmers Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps, who commented the decision "broke [his heart]" but was grateful that it will encourage more discussions about athletes' mental health. Biles later revealed that she was inspired by Naomi Osaka's stance on preserving her mental health when the tennis player declined to participate in post-match interviews at the 2021 French Open in May. Now, former first lady Michelle Obama has joined the chorus of support for Biles. Find out what she said below.

Michelle Obama has some wise words for Simone Biles

In the wake of Simone Biles' exit from two Olympic gymnastics events, many stars and prominent figures have praised the gymnast for prioritizing her health while inspiring others with her decisions — including former first lady Michelle Obama, who met the gymnast in the White House in 2016 (via People).

"Am I good enough? Yes, I am. The mantra I practice daily. @Simone_Biles, we are proud of you and we are rooting for you. Congratulations on the the silver medal, Team @USA!" Michelle Obama tweeted on July 27, after Biles pulled out of the all around final.

This isn't the first time Obama has supported Biles. Back in 2019, when Biles became the first woman in over half a century to win 6 U.S. all-around titles at the U.S.A. Gymnastics Championships, Obama tweeted, "Always breaking barriers, @Simone_Biles — couldn't be more proud of you."

Biles, for her part, named Obama as one of her inspirations, telling People in February, "She's such a role model that it makes you want to be the first in your category to do something, to strive to perfection."