“I Really Appreciate Simone Biles”: Usain Bolt Praises US Gymnast for Being Brave at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 10/27/2021, 2:55 PM EDT
Soccer Football – Soccer Aid 2021 – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain – September 4, 2021 World XI’s Usain Bolt with medal celebrates after the match Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff


The daring step taken by Simone Biles during the Tokyo Olympics 2020 has received support from various Olympians. The legendary sprinter Usain Bolt also added his name to the list as he praised Simone for her decision to withdraw from competitions at the Olympics due to mental health concerns.

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Being an Olympian himself, Usain Bolt understands the pressure of competing on the grandest stage. Notably, only an athlete can understand what another athlete feels with the eyes of the world upon them.

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Usain Bolt appreciated Simone Biles

When Simone Biles took down a step from the mat, many athletes saluted her decision. Being at the sports world’s most prestigious level, athletes face a lot of mental pressure. And to be able to walk out of a match, prioritizing one’s mental health, is incredible.

FILE PHOTO: Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics Artistic Training – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – July 22, 2021 Simone Biles of the United States during training REUTERS/File Photo               

In a recent interview, the eight-time Olympic medalist opened up about Simone Biles’ withdrawal in Tokyo Olympics 2020. Bolt appreciated Simone for looking at the bigger picture of her own mental health.

Bolt said, “Personally, I really appreciate Simone Biles for pushing off the Olympics. It’s always good to take care of yourself first, and then everything will fall into place. So I’m very happy that she understood that. I have to take care of myself first and then we’ll see what happens down the road.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 15: Usain Bolt during the International Friendly match between England and United States at Wembley Stadium on November 15, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Bolt reveals his own mental health mantra

When Bolt stepped on the Olympic track for the first time, he did not win. It took him years of training, and struggle to reach the Olympic podium, despite his undeniable ability.

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Bolt revealed his approach to keeping his mental health on track. “If you’re going through stuff, you should take time [for yourself]. You always want to do more, to go further, but at the end of the day, if you don’t take care of yourself, then what’s going to happen?” 

Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts as he wins the Olympic mens 200m final in a new world record time in the Birds Nest stadium, Beijing on August 20th 2008 in Beijing, China (Photo by Tom Jenkins/Getty Images). An image from the book “In The Moment” published June 2012

While many criticized Simone and even Bolt during his career, both of them have outclassed their critics with astonishing performances. If Simone had not taken a step back during the mega games and stumbled on the mat, it could have endangered her future in gymnastics.

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It’s wonderful to see the GOAT of track and field come out and appreciate the GOAT of gymnastics for her incredible stance.

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Shreya Verma

416 articles

Shreya Verma is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. A post-graduation student in political science, Shreya is also a professional 10m air pistol shooter. Taking after her athlete father, she was naturally inclined towards the athletic life.

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