Aly Raisman calls USA Gymnastics a disaster after Simone Biles pulls out of the final.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman today criticized USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee for their lack of leadership in supporting athletes following Simone Biles’ surprise exit from the women’s team gymnastics final.
“USA Gymnastics has been an absolute disaster for years, and unfortunately, it hasn’t changed enough for us to believe in a more secure future, but I think this shows the lack of leadership [from] USA Gymnastics and the Olympic Committee of the United States,” she said.
Biles walked away from Tuesday’s competition, saying it was vital for her to protect her mental well-being and that athletes were “people at the end of the day.”
Raisman also suggested that Biles’ decision could indicate further dysfunction within the organizations that govern gymnastics for American athletes.
“Her best athlete hers is fighting … is there someone there to help her?” Raisman asked. “I don’t know. I’m not there, so I don’t know. But I think it’s an important question we should ask ourselves.”
“Does Simone have the support she needs?” Raisman continued. “Do other athletes have the support they need?”
At the beginning of the interview, Raisman also drew on her personal experience to describe the enormous pressure star athletes like Biles’s face when they are under global attention.
“It’s tremendous pressure,” she said. “… I feel very sorry for her, and it’s a lot of pressure, and I think that had an influence.”
“I am completely devastated, and I support her very much,” she added.
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