Nastia Liukin pens heartfelt letter in support of Simone Biles

Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images for USOPC

Nastia Liukin thanked Simone Biles for “taking the sport of gymnastics to new heights” in an emotional Instagram post on Wednesday.

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.”