Justin Bieber expressed his support for US gymnast Simone Biles after her controversial decision to pull out of Olympic competition to focus on her mental health.
“Nobody will ever understand the pressures you face!” the 27-year-old Canadian pop star wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday. “I know we don’t know each other but I’m so proud of the decision to withdraw. It’s as simple as – what does it mean to gain the whole world but forfeit your soul.”
He continued: “Sometimes our no’s are more powerful than our yes’s. When what you normally love starts to steal your joy it’s important we take a step back to evaluate why.”
The singer then cited his early exit from his Purpose World Tour in July 2017 because of his mental health.
“People thought I was crazy for not finishing the purpose tour but it was the best thing I could have done for my mental health!! So proud of you @simonebiles,” he wrote in the post, which featured a photograph of the famed athlete.
On Wednesday, Biles also sent out an emotional message to her fans.
“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,” she said in a late night tweet.
The superstar bowed out of team competition Tuesday, claiming she was in good physical health, but overwhelmed the emotional toll of expectations associated with being considered the most prominent Olympic athlete.
“There’s more to life than just gymnastics,” the 4-foor-eight Texan, who has won 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, told reporters after her team won a silver medal in her absence.
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Biles also pulled out of Thursday’s all-around competition, but has not yet indicated whether she will compete in individual events next week.