Pogba sends a message of support to Biles
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has sent a message of appreciation and support to Simone Biles, the American gymnast and four-time Olympic gold medallist who has made the headlines by withdrawing from action at the Tokyo Games.
Speaking after a below-par performance on Tuesday, the American told reporters in Japan: “After the performance I did, I just didn't want to go on. I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now.
“We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do. I don't trust myself as much anymore. Maybe it's getting older. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world. We're not just athletes. We're people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back.”
Biles's decision has been backed by USA gymnastics and is being described as a game-changing moment in sport, with a high-profile athlete taking such a bold decision to withdraw.
United talisman Pogba knows exactly how it feels to perform under pressure on the biggest stages and, using his official Twitter account, the Frenchman has reached out to the American athlete.
“A moment of undeniable strength from @simone_biles,” writes Paul. “We always focus on the physical aspect of health but the mental aspect is just as important. When you take care of both, you will flourish in life!”
A moment of undeniable strength from @simone_biles. We always focus on the physical aspect of health but the mental aspect is just as important. When you take care of both, you will flourish in life! ❤️🤍💙#SimoneBiles GOAT 🐐— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) July 28, 2021
Pogba is not the first United star to back a fellow professional from another sport, after his team-mate Marcus Rashford also endorsed British tennis sensation Emma Radacanu.
This followed the teenager’s own high-profile decision to withdraw from Wimbledon on medical grounds and our no.10 was quick to lend his support on social media.
It happened to me playing for the national team in U16s against Wales. I remember it to this day. No explanation for it and it never happened again. You should be very proud of yourself. The country is proud of you. Glad to read your feeling better. Onwards and upwards 🎾🏴 https://t.co/sokkubBlLN— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) July 6, 2021