Rory McIlroy has shown his support for Simone Biles after she withdrew from the gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics

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Rory McIlroy “Very Impressed” With Simone Biles After Olympic Withdrawal

Rory McIlroy has supported Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from the gymnastics women’s team and all-around finals at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Northern Irishman is currently in Japan representing Ireland in the Men’s Golf Competition, and has backed Biles’ choice to prioritise her mental health, highlighting that it is just as important as physical health.

“I mean the mental health conversation, it’s not taboo anymore” McIlroy said.

“People can talk about it just as somebody has a knee or elbow injury, if you don’t feel 100 per cent right mentally that’s an injury too.”

Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medallist, had the weight of the US on her shoulders heading into the Games, something McIlroy witnessed first-hand.

“I live in the United States and anything that came on the TV about the Olympics, it was Simone Biles.

“You got 300-whatever-million (people in the USA), so the weight on her shoulders is massive.”

The golfer continued, showing his support not just for Biles, but for tennis player Naomi Osaka too.

“Just as I thought Naomi Osaka was right to do what she did at the French Open and take that time off and get herself in the right place, I one hundred per cent agree with what Simone is doing as well.

“I mean you have to put yourself in the best position physically and mentally to be at your best and if you don’t feel like you’re at that or you’re in that position, then you’re going to have to make those decisions.

“I’m certainly very impressed with, especially those two women, to do what they did and put themselves first.”

McIlroy is also pleased that the conversation has started around mental health in sport, with such high profile athletes at the top of their respective disciplines speaking out about the pressures they’re facing.

“Some people just have thicker skin than some others and can maybe just handle it a little better and are predisposed to handle it better, but some people have to know when enough is enough and I’m glad that at least the conversation has started.”