Tennis star Rafael Nadal is the latest athlete to voice his support for gymnast Simone Biles, who withdrew from several events at the Tokyo Olympics, citing her mental health. Nadal told “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell that he respects her decision “100%.”
“If you don’t feel ready, you have been working so hard during all your life to achieve your dream. She achieved amazing things, and I am sure she will be back. But if in this moment she doesn’t feel ready, and why she has to do it?” he said.
Nadal, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, sat out the Tokyo Games because of an injury. He is tied with Roger Federer andfor most men’s Grand Slam titles of all time and is currently the third ranked tennis player in the world, according to the Association of Tennis Professionals’ rankings.
Biles, the most decorated American gymnast of all time,when she announced she would not be competing in multiple team and individual events to prioritize her mental health.
“The outpouring [of] love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before,”.
The Olympic gold medalist said she had experienced a state of disorientation, known as “,” when she was competing on vault last week, leading her to withdraw from the team all-around final and four individual events: all-around, vault, floor exercise and uneven bars.
“Literally can not tell up from down. It’s the craziest feeling ever. Not having an inch of control over your body,” she said. “What’s even scarier is since I have no idea where I am in the air I also have NO idea how I am going to land. Or what I am going to land on. Head/hands/feet back.”
Sheon Tuesday, USA Gymnastics announced Monday.
Watch more of Norah O’Donnell’s interview with Rafael Nadal on the “CBS Evening News” on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.