Nastia Liukin thanked Simone Biles for “taking the sport of gymnastics to new heights” in an emotional Instagram post on Wednesday.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nastia Liukin (@nastialiukin)
A post shared by Nastia Liukin (@nastialiukin)
Liukin added her voice to the chorus of support for Biles after the American gymnast pulled out of the team and individual all-around Olympic competitions this week, citing her mental health.
Liukin, the 2008 Olympic all-around gold medalist, understands the unique pressure elite gymnasts endure.
“Thank you for creating a safer space for current and future athletes to unequivocally be themselves,” wrote Liukin.
Liukin ended her open letter to Biles with a nod to her legacy: “You came here as a gymnast, and you’re leaving as a hero.”