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Tokyo Olympics: Piers Morgan attacks Simone Biles decision to quit gymnastics final

By , in Sport , at July 28, 2021 Tags: ,

Olympics: Simone Biles has revealed a desire to focus on her mental health as the reason for abrupt withdrawal from the Team Gymnastics….

Olympics: Simone Biles has revealed a desire to focus on her mental health as the reason for abrupt withdrawal from the Team Gymnastics.

Tokyo Olympics Piers Morgan attacks Simone Biles decision to quit

Piers Morgan and Simone Biles.Source:Supplied

Controversial commentator Piers Morgan has weighed in on American gymnastics prodigy Simone Biles dropping out of the team final last night, labelling the decision “a joke”.

Biles, a four-time gold medallist, pulled out just minutes into the women’s team gymnastics final in Tokyo last night after baulking on her first vault attempt.

Speaking after the event, Biles revealed “physically, I’m in good shape” but explained she did not know where she was in the air on her first vault and had been “fighting all those demons” inside her head.

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Simone Biles competes in the vault event of the artistic gymnastics women's team final. Picture: Martin Bureau/AFP

Simone Biles competes in the vault event of the artistic gymnastics women’s team final. Picture: Martin Bureau/AFPSource:AFP

She pulled out because she did not want to jeopardise her team’s chances of winning a medal.

“It’s just me in my head,” she said.

“I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardise my health and wellbeing.

“We have to protect our body and our mind. It’s very unfortunate this has to happen at this stage … it just sucks when you’re fighting with your own head.”

The USA went on to win silver in the team final, behind Russia and in front of the UK.

Biles’ huge decision was praised by many but not everyone was satisfied with her reason for walking away.

Morgan, who was forced out of his hosting gig at Good Morning Britain in the UK in March for repeatedly saying he doubted Meghan Markle’s mental health issues and suicidal ideation, allegedly brought on by the royal family, took to Twitter to attack Biles.

There was immediate backlash to his comments with many pleading with him to “stop writing nasty, spiteful stuff just to get attention”.

“You do realise they are being role models by talking about their mental health. We need and want more people to talk about it. We don’t need people like you making snide comments like this and adding to the stigma. You’re part of the problem,” was one of many Twitter responses.

But Morgan doubled down on his attack of Biles three hours later, blaming Twitter’s “virtue-signallers for fuelling this culture of celebrating weakness”.

In the early days of the Olympics, Morgan has also taken to Twitter to water down the achievements of athletes that did not win gold medals.

While Morgan took the attack route, many threw their support behind Biles, including her former teammate Aly Raisman.

Raisman, who captained the USA Gymnastics team at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics to gold medal finishes, reminded the world of the pressure the team was under.

Other commentators took to Twitter to explain the level Biles was competing at, and the pain she had already battled through.

Biles underscored her greatness at this year’s US Classic by becoming the first woman ever to pull off a Yurchenko double pike — a complex, gravity-defying vault that no other woman has attempted in competition.

Unfortunately for Biles, the judges weren’t as enamoured with her vault as everyone else, as they gave it a provisional scoring value of just 6.6. There have been suggestions the low score was delivered because the International Gymnastics Federation wants to protect athletes’ safety by discouraging them from attempting a move as difficult as what Biles pulled off.

The pressure was on Biles to follow-up her stunning performance at the US Classic however the Olympics clearly took their toll.

“Physically I feel good, I’m in shape,” she told American broadcaster NBC after pulling out of the final.

“Emotionally … that kind of varies on the time and the moment.

“Coming here to the Olympics and being the head star of the Olympics is not an easy feat so we’re just trying to take it one day at a time and we’ll see.”

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