Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard have spoken out on Simone Biles’ withdrawal from the individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics, with Piers Morgan facing backlash for his views.
The Good Morning Britain hosts pointed out that Biles would not have ‘taken the decision lightly’ after withdrawing from her second event.
‘It’s surprising though, isn’t it?’ Kate asked. ‘She took that decision for the team, and sensibly evaluated the next stage but it’s a big, big thing for her, for her teammates, for everyone in the competition.’
‘She won’t have taken that decision lightly of course,’ Ben added.
However, former GMB star Piers was less sympathetic, describing the decision to withdraw from the first event as a ‘joke’.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘Are ‘mental health issues’ now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport? What a joke.
‘Just admit you did badly, made mistakes, and will strive to do better next time. Kids need strong role models not this nonsense.’
While some supported Piers for his comments, others were outraged, especially after his controversial remarks about athletes who win silver and bronze medals at the Olympics.
One hit back at the former tabloid editor: ‘No Piers mental health and having a good ‘mentality’ has an absolute correlation to performance in sport or in life for that matter. Educate yourself on the matter.’
Others pointed out his GMB storm-off over Meghan Markle, with one writing: ‘Your brain can’t handle even the slightest opposition to your viewpoint and you think you can talk about the mental health of elite athletes with the world on their back? It’s their honesty in this matter that makes them stronger role models, not weaker.’
On Tuesday Biles withdrew from the women’s artistic gymnastics final, just moments after posting the worst vault score of her career. She returned to the arena to support her team-mates, who ended up winning silver behind the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), with team Great Britain grabbing bronze.
A day later, Biles withdrew from the individual all-around competition to prioritise on her wellbeing.
Former GMB host Piers faced backlash for his views (Picture: ITV)
In a statement, USA Gymnastics said: ‘After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health.
‘Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual finals.
‘Jade Carey, who had the ninth highest score in qualifications, will participate in her place in the all-around.
‘We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritising her wellbeing. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.’
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
Credit: Original article published here.