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Bollywood Heaps Praise On Gymnast Simone Biles 

Bollywood stars stand with Biles after she withdrew from an all-around competition to focus on mental health.

MUMBAI, India — Bollywood superstars Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, and more from the Bollywood fraternity have heaped praise on one of the most decorated American gymnasts, Simone Biles.

She withdrew from an all-around competition on July 29 to focus on her mental well-being.

Deepika Padukone, who has been quite vocal about her battle with depression, took to her Instagram handle and gave a shout-out.

Sharing the athlete’s news screenshot by a news outlet, her story read, “I hear you…” by adding hashtags: “#mentalhealth,” ‘#mentalhealthmatters.”

Alia Bhatt also took to her Instagram story to amplify Biles’ voice.

Sharing the news, Bhatt said on her Instagram story, “A reminder that your mental health is as important as your physical health. This helps change the narrative regarding mental health all over the world, more power to you.”

Taking to his Instagram handle, Varun Dhawan also wrote, “What an inspiration! An important reminder to take care of your mental health along with your physical! A message for difficult times like these.”

American gymnast Biles cited mental health concerns as her reason to pull out of the women’s team final in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.

The Rio 2016 gold-medal-winning athlete doesn’t want to put her “health and well-being” in danger.

“Whenever you get in a high-stress situation, you kind of freak out. I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being,” Biles said.

“It just sucks when you’re fighting with your own head,” Biles broke down in tears while explaining her decision in a press conference.

The American gymnast said her team wanted her to go ahead and compete, but she didn’t want to put a medal at risk.

“I was like: I think the girls need to do the rest of the competition without me. They were like, ‘I promise you’ll be fine, we watched you warm-up.’ But I said ‘no, I know I am going to be fine, but I can’t risk a medal for the team, and I need to call it,” said Biles.

Biles took to Twitter, saying the messages have shown her that her impact goes far beyond the glittering gymnastics performances she has put on for nearly a decade at the top of her sport.

“The outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics, which I never truly believed before,” her tweet read.

Biles got support from worldwide, including the USA’s former first lady Michelle Obama.

“Am I good enough? Yes, I am. The mantra I practice daily. @Simone_Biles, we are proud of you, and we are rooting for you. Congratulations on the silver medal, Team @USA!” Obama’s tweet read.

Biles withdrew from the artistic gymnastics women’s team final, citing medical grounds, as per USA Gymnastics.

Biles bailed out of a two-and-a-half twisting vault after executing just one-and-a-half twists, taking a big step on her landing.

She then left the gym with a medic and minutes later pulled out her name from the remainder of the event.

As per Olympics officials, though Biles had withdrawn from the team final, she is still eligible for the forthcoming individual all-around and apparatus finals.

The individual all-around is set for July 29, while the apparatus finals will take place from August 1-3, with Biles having qualified for all four: balance beam, vault, floor exercise, and uneven bars.

Last week, Biles had become the first Olympic athlete to have her own customized hashtag emoji on Twitter.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Amrita Das and Pallavi Mehra

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