Simone Biles’ “medical issue,” which forced her to withdraw from the Olympic women’s gymnastics team final on Tuesday, July 27, aroused discussion regarding Kerri Strug’s 1996 Atlanta Games injury.

Biles was withdrawn from the competition when she appeared to fall on her vault attempt.

Biles’ injury was likened to Strug’s performance in 1996 on social media.

Strug captivated the hearts of Olympic fans in 1996 when she was a member of the United States’ gold-medal winning squad. Despite a damaged ankle, Strug’s perseverance in the vault event helped the Americans win gold. Strug’s second try was plainly handicapped, and she didn’t have to finish it for the Americans to win, Fox News reported.

“I remember watching Kerri Strug vault on an already damaged ankle. I was a teenager, but even then I knew there was something toxic about the culture and expectations that led to her doing it,” Dani Alexis, a freelance writer, said.

“I hope Simone Biles is doing exactly what her long-term health needs,” she added.

Nancy Yang, a digital editor for MPR News, echoed the same sentiment:

“So much gymnastics news this morning! I know some people live for the drama but I can’t handle it (I looked away during Kerri Strug’s vault). A nail-biter to the last rotation. Congrats to ROC, the U.S. (yay for Minnesotans Suni Lee and Grace McCallum) and Great Britain!”

Jay Brannan, a New York folk songwriter, singer praises Biles for her brave decision, against all odds:

“Kerri strug was a hero for competing when she was able and simone biles was a hero for not competing when she wasn’t. It can be both. Twitter is insane”

Maggie Hendricks, a sports reporter for regional Bally Sports, questions the common mentality of the public for athletes who compete through physical or mental injury: 

“Hey, if your viewpoint is ever that athletes owe it to us to compete through injury, whether physical or mental, please unfollow me now.”

“Saw someone in the timeline talk about Kerri Strug. As the @fuggirls pointed out last week, looking back, that was a horrible thing. She had no one saying, “Are you OK? Do you want to do this?” She was a teenager.”

Jessica Luther, another sports journalist, took an even stronger tone:

“SHUT UP with comparisons to Kerri Strug, wow, just, y’all, stop stop stop stop stop stop log off”

Kerry Strug herself, in the latest tweet, shares her support for Simone Biles and the rest of USA gymnasts, according to

“Sending love to you @Simone_Biles,” Strug, 43, wrote, along with a goat emoji and a heart, representing the fact that Biles is known as the GOAT, or the greatest of all time.

Strugg also praised the entire women’s team, which fought to earn silver after finishing 3.432 points behind the Russian Olympic Committee. The bronze medal went to the UK.

“Congrats #teamusa,” Strug wrote. “Great respect for all your hard work and support for each other. We are proud of you!”

It’s unknown if Biles injured her ankle on her own vault try.

Although she withdrew due to a self-claimed “mental issue,” USA Gymnastics declared she had a “medical issue.”

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