Michelle Obama responds to Simone Biles' mental health struggle with a wise 'mantra' after Olympic withdrawal

Michelle Obama shared her go-to mantra with Simone Biles following the US gymnast's shocking withdrawal from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Michelle Obama at BET Awards 2020
(Image credit: Getty / BET Awards 2020 / Contributor)

Michelle Obama has sent a heartwarming message to Simone Biles in light of her withdrawal from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics—and it's advice we all could hear every now and then. 

The former First Lady took to Twitter to share some wise words with the elite US gymnast, who has dropped out of two of the competition's events for mental health reasons. Simone removed herself from the individual all-around final today, having already pulled out of the team event gymnastics final on Tuesday. 

Simone Biles of United States of America competing on Women's Team Final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan

Simone Biles has removed herself from two gymnastic events in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

(Image credit: Iris van den Broek/BSR Agency/Getty Images)


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The difficult decision to prioritize her mental wellbeing at this high-pressure time has earned the 24-year-old praise from many fans, including Michelle Obama herself. The Becoming author wrote a sweet note to Simone following her second withdrawal, along with a helpful dose of practical advice.  

"Am I good enough? Yes, I am. The mantra I practice daily," Michelle posted. "@Simone_Biles we are proud of you and we are rooting for you. Congratulations on the silver medal, Team @USA!" 

Simone stunned the gymnastics community on Tuesday when she abruptly dropped out of the team competition, admitting she "freaked out in a high-pressure situation." After failing to complete her Amanar and stumbling on her Yurchenko vault, she left the performance floor and watched the remainder of the event from the sidelines. 

Simone later took to Instagram to shower her squad with gratitude after coming second to the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), who took home the Gold with a three-point lead.

"I’m SO proud of these girls right here," she wrote. "You girls are incredibly brave & talented! I’ll forever be inspired by your determination to not give up and to fight through adversity! They stepped up when I couldn’t. thanks for being there for me and having my back! forever love y’all."

The four-time Olympian Gold medalist was expected to compete in four other finals over the coming week, including the floor exercise, beam, uneven bars, and vault. 

Simone spoke out about her shocking departure that evening, refuting the initial claims that she was suffering from a medical injury. 

"Physically, I feel good. I'm in shape," she told NBC's TODAY. "Emotionally, it varies on the time and moment. Coming to the Olympics and being head star isn't an easy feat."

It remains unclear whether or not Simone will compete in Thursday’s all-round final, but it looks like her top concern at the moment is her mental health. When asked by reporters what her goals for the Olympics are, she replied, "To focus on my wellbeing. There is more to life than just gymnastics." 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.