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Athletes rush to support Simone Biles over mental health stance

Gymnast Simone Biles was flooded with messages of support from fellow athletes after she pulled out of two events at the Tokyo Games citing mental health pressures.

The 24-year-old US superstar shocked the sporting world by pulling out of the team all-around competition and a day later withdrew from the individual all-around event.

“We also have to focus on ourselves because at the end of the day, we’re human too,” she told reporters.

“We have to protect our mind and our body rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.”

Legendary US swimmer Michael Phelps told broadcaster NBC: “It broke my heart. But also, if you look at it, mental health over the last 18 months, is something that people are talking about.”

Biles team mates also lauded her, with Sunisa Lee posting on Instagram: “Proud of you & everything you’ve accomplished! Thank you for being a role model and someone I look up to every single day.”

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