Simone Biles‘ boyfriend Jonathan Owens has taken to social media to praise her “strength and courage” after she withdrew from events at the Tokyo Olympics due to mental health concerns.
The 24-year-old US gymnast withdrew from the team all-around final and didn’t take part in the individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Games due to concerns over her mental health and her partner has shared a message of support on Instagram.
NFL star Jonathan Owens wrote on the image-sharing site: “Imma ride with you through whatever baby.
“Your strength and courage is unmatched and you inspire me more and more everyday SB. You always gone be my champ baby and don’t you ever forget that (sic)”
Jonathan continued: “I love you so much and I can’t wait till you come home and I get to see that beautiful smile again. You know I’m always here for you baby (sic)”
Simone – who won four gold medals at the 2016 Games in Rio – recently responded to those who criticized her for pulling out of events by sharing clips from her practice session to explain that her mind and body were “not in sync” so she felt that it was too risky to take part.
She wrote on Instagram: “For anyone saying I quit. I didn’t quit, my mind & body are simply not in sync as you can see here.
“I don’t think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface nor do I have to explain why I put health first…
“Physical health is mental health (sic)”
Simone explained that she is battling with “twisties,” which sees gymnasts lose their grasp of where they are in the air, which puts them in danger when they land.
She added: “[You] literally can not tell up from down. It’s the craziest feeling ever… not having an inch of control over your body.
“What’s even scarier is since I have no idea where I am in the air I also have NO idea how I’m going to land or what I’m going to land on.”