Parents across the globe have applauded Simone Biles for putting her mental health first at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and being a "good role model" for children.
It comes after she withdrew herself from the Olympics yesterday, citing mental health concerns.
Biles pulled out of the women's team final after a shaky vault landing in the opening rotation which earned her the lowest vault score of her Olympics career. She left the arena with the team's medical trainer Marcia Faustin, but later returned to support her team as they claimed a silver medal victory.
As per CNN, Biles spoke with reporters after the final and explained that she has to "focus on my mental health."
"Whenever you get in a high-stress situation, you kind of freak out," she said. "I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being. It just sucks when you're fighting with your own head."
She also revealed that before she withdrew, her team mates asked her continue.
"I was like: I think the girls need to do the rest of the competition without me," she explained. "They were like 'I promise you'll be fine, we watched you warm-up.' But I said 'No, I know I am going to be fine but I can't risk a medal for the team and I need to call it.'
"You usually don't hear me say things like that because I usually persevere and push through things, but not to cost the team a medal. So they were like: OK, if Simone says this, we need to take it pretty serious. I had the correct people around me to do that."
Many have praised Biles for her decision to prioritise her mental health, especially many parents who have thanked her for teaching their children an important lesson.
❤️❤️❤️My daughter was a gymnast when she was young. Other than her dad and me telling her that, she never heard this message. So glad it's being shouted now ….finally!
— SherriL (@SherriLoveland) July 28, 2021
One mom took to Twitter to thank Biles for teaching her daughter that "you matter more than any title."
"My 9yo gymnast learned a great lesson today that we've been preaching, but seeing you helped her understand- YOU MATTER MORE than any title, medal, or status. Thank you @Simone_Biles! You have certainly influenced our little one," she wrote.
"My daughter was a gymnast when she was young. Other than her dad and me telling her that, she never heard this message. So glad it's being shouted now ….finally!" said another.
"My 7 year old granddaughter says you are her favorite athlete. We're going to have a good talk about the wisdom and courage of your choice. Praying you have great support and take the necessary time to care for yourself. You're an outstanding role model," said a third.
Another person also added: "My daughter is a young female athlete plagued by anxiety for years. Training and performance goals give her strength and confidence, but coaches and others rarely understand or support mental health. Role models help our girls prioritize body AND mind. Thank you."
Biles has since withdrawn from Thursday's women's all-around final, but a decision on her 4 individual finals, which are due to take place next week, is yet to take place.