Simon Biles’ sponsors provided statements of support on Wednesday following her decision to withdraw from Thursday’s individual and all-around gymnastics competitions at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 24-year-old champion cited mental health concerns as a reason for her earlier withdrawal from the team’s competition on Tuesday during interviews with reporters in Tokyo. Biles may still compete in the singles event finals next week.
Kyle Andrew, chief brand officer at Athleta, said the sportswear company stands by Biles and supports her well-being “in and out of competition.” Biles signed an endorsement contract with Athleta earlier this year following ending her contract with Nike.
“Being the best also means knowing how to take concern of yourself,” Andrew told CNN Business by email on Wednesday. “Her leadership has inspired us today and we are behind her every step of the way.”
On Tuesday, Biles said she would take the rest of the Olympics “day by day” as she looks to add to the four gold medals she won at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
In this regard, Andrea Fairchild, Senior Vice President of Global Sponsorship Strategy, said Visa, another sports sponsor, recognizes Biles’ “incredibly heroic decision.” The decision “shows how Simon is competent to inspire both on and off the rug.”
Biles is one of the 102 Olympic Athletes Visa Sponsors in conjunction with the Team Visa Program. “We wish her all the best in the coming days,” Fairchild added.
Protein shake company Core Power tweeted Wednesday morning that Biles “shows us all that her bravery and strength extends far beyond the mat.”
The company added on Twitter with a goat emoji: “We are in awe of you today and every day” — a reference to GOAT, or the greatest of all.
Core Power told CNN Business that it has partnered with Biles for the former six years and that it has been one of its brand ambassadors since 2016. The company launched a unused ad campaign featuring Biles on June 29.
“We have supported her physical recovery with our Core Power Protein Drink, and as a company we unequivocally support her health,” the company said by email.
United Airlines, the sponsor of Team USA, did not immediately respond Wednesday morning to a request for comment. The company told sports news site Sportico that it has been elated to partner with Biles for years and continues to support them.
Uber Eats, whose “Tonight I’m Going to Eat” commercials featured Biles late final year, said she stands by her, too.
“She has demonstrated real strength both inside and outside the gym, and has set an incredible example for athletes around the world,” the company said.