Gracie Gold has praised Simone Biles for being open about her mental health
Simone, 24, recently withdrew from five out of six women's gymnastics finals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, due to mental health concerns and figure skater Gracie, 25 - who won a bronze medal at the 2014 Olympics - says Simone is brave for making her mental health a "priority"
4 August 2021
Gracie told E! News: "I felt like it was really brave for her to say that, because it would be much easier to say 'I tore something,'. As I said, most people don't question physical injuries in the way that they question mental injuries so to speak. Fracturing your psyche is just as valid and as real and as detrimental as a fracture anywhere else in your body."
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And Gracie insisted that fellow athletes would understand Simone's situation, while those who are critical have not been in the same situation.
She explained: "The questioning from people who have never been athletes, who have never been at the Olympics, who have never been the greatest of all time in their craft and with millions of people watching them on camera…I think it's just a little bit ridiculous. I thought it was amazing that she's put her mental health first, because as athletes, it's almost like we're conditioned not to show that weakness at all. So to do that and to put that as a priority is incredible.
"[Simone] is so accomplished, she doesn't even need to be at this Olympics at all and is still the greatest gymnast ever."
Gracie has previously received treatment for depression, anxiety and an eating disorder and says it is important that athletes speak up about their own issues.
She said: "There are so many people still struggling in silence. What if Simone didn't come out and say, 'Hey, I need to take a step back, this isn't good.' What if she did push through? You can't win a medal for the pain or the suffering. Olympians can suffer the longest in silence. There's no medal for that."