Sport Aaron Rodgers 'Very Proud' of Simone Biles
Simone Biles' Olympics timeline: Medals, records and more to know about U.S. star gymnast
Simone Biles has taken home a lot of hardware during her impressive gymnastics career.However, it wasn't always easy for her. During the 2013 season, she was unsure of how far she could get in the sport.
The Packers QB credited Biles for speaking her truth in her mental health journey.
When U.S. gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the Tokyo Games, it set off a global conversation about mental health in sports and the pressure athletes endure to perform even when they're not at their best.
After opening up about her personal journey on the world's biggest stage, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers credited Biles on Friday for having the courage to share her truth and the mental battles she's faced.
Watch Simone Biles tell USA Gymnastics teammates she was withdrawing from Olympics team final
Microphones picked up what Biles said as she was telling teammates she was making her exit from the team competition.People criticized the decision; some said she abandoned her teammates and let them down. But video of Biles walking off during the competition shows not only the encouragement she gave them, but also the mutual support they gave her as they continued to fight for a medal in Tokyo.
"I give Simone so much credit for her ability to speak the truth, her truth and to answer tough questions, and to have the courage to say, 'I'm scared' and 'I don't feel like I should be out there,'" Rodgers said in an interview with.
"People of all ages and professions are dealing with mental issues, especially during COVID. It's something we should be talking about and ways to help people get through it, whether it's techniques or therapy or just conversations letting people know they're not alone. And that's what Simone did. I'm very, very proud of her."
Biles—who returned to—finished the Tokyo Games with two medals, a silver in the team competition and a bronze on the balance beam.
Aaron Rodgers empathizes with Simone Biles, says he worked on 'mental state' in offseason
Aaron Rodgers, back in camp with the Green Bay Packers after an offseason of discontent, empathized with Olympian Simone Biles deciding to focus on her mental health during his first media availability of training camp on Wednesday. "I think it's important that we work on our mental state and as you've seen with Simone Biles, I think there needs to be more conversation around that," Rodgers said.Rodgers was asked what it was like to miss organized team practice activities (OTAs) for the first time in his career and said it was "great." He then spoke of Biles and the need to de-clutter his mind over the offseason.
The seven-time Olympic medalist had initially withdrawn from four finals before returning for the balance beam final. The reigning NFL MVP further said in his interview withthat he hopes Biles and other athletes keep the conversation going on mental health and advocacy for it.
"Keep talking about ways that we individually deal with stress and deal with anxiety and deal with pressure and deal with depression of loneliness," Rodgers said. "I think that would really help.
"Our words are often listened to more than the person who's not in the public eye as much. So we have an opportunity—not an obligation, an opportunity—to maybe share some of our own ways of dealing with things and break some of the stigma around mental health."
Since Biles went public about her mental health and her explanation of the "," other athletes like former U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps also defended her during the Tokyo Olympics.
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"The Olympics is overwhelming," Phelps said. "There's a lot of emotions that go into it ... It was hard for me to ask for help. I felt like I was carrying, as Simone said, the weight of the world on [my] shoulders. It's a tough situation.
"I hope this is an opportunity for us to jump onboard and to even blow this mental health thing even more wide open. It is so much bigger than we can ever imagine."
The 24-year-old now has a total of 32 Olympic and world medals, tied with Soviet Union's Larisa Latynina, though Biles has more golds.
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Simone Biles Thanks Japanese Gym Where She Trained for Her Olympics Comeback .
Juntendo University opened its facility so she could train separately and gain her skills back after her bout with the "twisties" and her mental health struggles. Simone Biles—a seven-time Olympic medalist—thanked the 'secret' Japanese gym where she trained and prepared for her Olympics comeback. From the get-go, Biles had been shaky after arriving in Japan, uncharacteristically stumbling and stepping out of bounds. She confirmed later in an Instagram story that the "twisties" began "the VERY next morning" after the preliminary competition.