Simone Biles has hinted that the horrific sexual abuse she endured at the hands of pedophile doctor Larry Nassar is behind the mental health issues that prompted her shock withdrawal from Thursday night’s individual all-around final – where she was due to defend her Olympic title.
The 24-year-old drew a line between the trauma of Nassar’s abuse and her decision to pull out of both the team and individual all-around medal events for the first time when she retweeted a statement of support from a fellow gymnast – who hit out at critics of the sporting superstar, while reminding the world that Biles was ‘molested by her team doctor throughout her entire childhood’.
‘We are talking about the same girl who was molested by her team doctor throughout her entire childhood and teenage years,’ the statement, which was written by former gymnast-turned-fitness trainer Andrea Orris, read.
It continued: ‘That girl has endured more trauma by the age of 24 than most people will ever go through in a lifetime.’
Although Biles, who was seen for the first time since the announcement when she stepped out to cheer on Team USA’s male gymnasts in Tokyo, did not issue her own statement about Nassar or her decision to pull out of the all-around, a US official told DailyMail.com that Orris’ message ‘sums up everything Simone is feeling and wants to say’.
The source continued: ‘The fact that Simone has retweeted it, shows that she agrees with every word that’s been said on her behalf.’
Biles, who won four gold medals at the Rio 2016 Games, including the individual all-around title, announced early on Wednesday morning that she has chosen not to defend her title, after consulting with USA Gymnastics officials following her sudden withdrawal from the team competition on Tuesday.
The gymnast, who has been incredibly outspoken in her criticism of USAG’s handling of the Nassar scandal, and her struggle to deal with the resulting trauma of his abuse, did not share her own statement – instead allowing the news to be shared by the organization that she has so frequently blasted for ‘failing’ to protect its gymnasts from the pedophile doctor.
‘After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health,’ the statement read.
‘Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals. We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.’
Biles is one of more than 150 gymnasts who were abused by Nassar, the former national team doctor, during his 30-year career, and in 2019, she revealed that the trauma of the assaults had left her struggling with suicidal thoughts.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Natasha Anderson, Charlie Lankston, Mike Keegan, Nick Fagge, Shekhar Bhatia