Simone Biles, one of the United States’ most decorated Olympic athletes, sent strong words of support to Mikaela Shiffrin when the skier shared some of the social media abuse she experienced after finishing out of the podium in all of her individual events at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
“I know this all too well. I’m sorry you’re experiencing this! people suck…. damned if you do damned if you don’t,” Biles commented on Shiffrin’s Instagram post. Biles faced similar hatred from fans on social media after she withdrew from the individual all-around event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health.
Shiffrin, who came into the Olympics as a favorite to win multiple gold medals, recorded her third “Did Not Finish” at the Beijing Olympics in the slalom portion of the combined event after finishing fifth in the downhill portion. She also skied out of the giant slalom and slalom events earlier at the Olympics, her two signature events, and finished ninth in the super-G event.
In the post, Shiffrin said, “Get up because you can, because you like what you do when it’s not infested with the people who have so much apparent hate for you.”
Biles was plagued by the “twisties” — a phenomenon in which gymnasts get lost in the air, potentially leading to serious injury — throughout the Tokyo Olympics. Biles withdrew from the team final after a disastrous vault performance. She posted videos of her practice on uneven bars on social media, where she underrotated and fell on her back. She then withdrew from the individual all-around event. The U.S. won silver in the team event.
“Just remember how AMAZING you are, we’re all cheering for you, proud of you, love & support you! Go kick some ass Saturday! But most importantly, embrace the moment. Have fun love ya!!!!” Biles added.
Shiffrin will compete in the mixed team alpine skiing event at 9:22 p.m. ET on Friday.
The two athletes have won a total of 10 Olympic medals (seven for Biles and three for Shiffrin).