Raisman proud of Biles: 'I can't imagine the bravery' needed to withdraw
Former two-time U.S. gymnastics captain Aly Raisman voiced her support for Simone Biles following the superstar's decision to withdraw from the team event, citing the need to preserve her mental health.
"It is so much pressure," Raisman told ESPN, according to Michele Steele. "It's the most pressure I've ever seen on a gymnast and maybe even Olympic athlete, and I can't imagine how hard it is for her.
"I'm very proud of Simone, and I can't imagine the bravery that it takes to just say, 'I'm not going to do it today.'"
Raisman and Biles were teammates on the "Final Five" squad that won gold in the women's artistic team all-around at the Rio 2016 Games - America's second straight gold medal in the event.
However, a third straight victory wasn't in the cards. With Biles cheering on her teammates, the U.S. came in second to the athletes representing the Russian Olympic Committee.
It's still the eighth straight Olympic Games that the American women have reached the podium in the team event. And regardless of what happens next, Raisman believes Biles' legacy is secured.
"She's still the most incredible gymnast," Raisman said. "And I think she's showing us and leading by example that prioritizing your mental health is crucial and it's really important."