Gymnast Simone Biles, 24, reflected on her Olympics experience a month after the Tokyo Games while clapping back at critics who called her a ‘quitter’.
Biles, who got a silver medal for the women’s team all-around and a bronze for the balance beam, showed off her two medals on her Instagram account.
“Can’t believe it’s already been a month,” the gymnast wrote. “Definitely not the way I planned the Olympics going but I wouldn’t change anything for the world.”
“I’m proud of myself and the career I’ve had thus far,” she added.
Biles shocked the world when she pulled out from the all-around competition in late July to focus on her mental health, and while the gymnast received great support, some had accused her of ‘quitting’ and ‘abandoning’ her teammates.
The 24-year-old later dropped out of the individual all-around, uneven bars, vault, and floor exercise finals.
Biles said at the time that she was suffering from ‘the twisties,’ a mental block that causes gymnasts to feel like they are ‘lost in the air.’
She then returned to the competition in time for the balance beam final and won a bronze medal.
In 2016, Biles left the Rio Olympics with a haul of five medals, including four golds.
“This Olympics doesn’t erase the past accomplishments I’ve achieved nor does it define who I am as an athlete,” Biles wrote on Instagram. “I’ve pushed through so much the past couple of years, the word quitter is not in my vocabulary.”
“For some of you that may be how you define me,” Biles wrote, “but keep talking because I can’t hear you over my seven Olympic medals which tied me for the most decorated gymnast EVER as well as most decorated American gymnast.”
At the time of this writing, Biles’s Instagram post has gained more than 850,000 likes and thousands of comments from supportive fans, including a number of known celebrities.
“Woooooooohoooooo!!!!!!!!” actress Viola Davis commented.
“Speak on it,” supermodel Naomi Campbell wrote. “Thank you @simonebiles.”
“You are the most remarkable human ever to exist,” Beanie Feldstein added.
“Preach!” her teammate Jordan Chiles commented. “Say it louder for the people in the back.”
“You have the nation in a CHOKEHOLD,” her sister Adria Biles added.
Meanwhile, Biles’ fans also thanked her for putting a spotlight on the importance of prioritizing mental health.
“The example you set was far more valuable than any medal,” one fan wrote.