This week multi-medalist Simone Biles chose to step down from the United States women's gymnastics team final at the Olympics due her growing concern for her own mental and physical health.
Although Biles made the best choice for her well-being she still faced backlash from mostly men over her decision to withdraw. However, as quick as some were to criticize, so were many just as fast with an outpouring of respect and support for the champion athlete.
Former Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Dominique Moceanu spoke out on Twitter. She shared why Biles made the right choice in stepping out of the competition.
You can see her tweet and video here:
In a video she shared, Moceanu was performing a balance beam routine and landed directly on her head at only 14 years old.
Moceanu pointed out how even after such an alarming fall, along with a stress fracture in one leg, she did not receive any medical examination and was pushed to immediately perform her floor routine.
Fellow Olympic gymnast and gold medalist Kerri Strug, who was famously pushed to continue performing while injured, offered her support as well.
While those mostly male armchair critics are using Moceanu, Strug and other Olympians to point out what's wrong with Biles' decision, the women themselves are pointing out how they had no control, weren't asked for their consent and the pressure they were under to win at all costs was dangerous and abusive.
Biles is the most decorated American gymnast with a combined total of 30 World and Olympic medals. She is the first female gymnast to successfully complete the dangerous triple double—a skill in which she launches herself high into the air after two backflips to complete three full rotations before landing.
As physical and mental pressures mounted, Biles participated in the team final for one vault. However, she was only able to make 1.5 out of her usual 2.5 rotations before a difficult landing resulted in her scoring to be subpar compared to her usual level of performance.
Given the risks involved and the long history of inadequate medical care and documented abuse of young female athletes in gymnastics, most of Biles' fellow gymnasts are pushing back against all the armchair critics.
When Biles said she felt “a little lost in the air" and couldn't trust herself at the moment, it was clear her decision was made with safety in mind.
You can see Biles astounding triple double skill below.
The Twitter community applauded Moceanu's response to the Biles backlash and responded with deep support for both women.
Despite pressures, original intention, or entertainment value it is important to remember these athletes are human and need to take care of themselves too and we all have the right to personal choice.