SAN DIEGO — A Team USA track and field athlete in San Diego visited FOX 5 Wednesday to reflect on the decision by all-world gymnast Simone Biles to withdraw from competition, citing mental health and safety concerns.
“The fact that she even knew to take a step back, I mean, if there’s anybody who’s going to tell us how to get over it, it’s probably going to be her,” said Chari Hawkins, who finished sixth in a qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics and did not get to compete in the games.
“None of us can walk the same journey, and I think that the way that I coped with not making the team is going to be completely different from the way she coped from not being able to bring home her medal. But I think she’s — I think she’s going to be OK. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy.”
Hawkins, an Idaho native who now lives and trains in San Diego, has spoken openly about her own mental health journey, including in a mini-documentary about her athletic upbringing.
Watch her full interview in the video player above.