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Ten years ago, or even five, an athlete of Simone Biles’ stature might have been reluctant to say that she struggled with pressure, much less to have withdrawn in the middle of an Olympic competition.

“People might have labeled an athlete mentally weak,” Hillary Cauthen, a clinical sports psychologist in Austin, Texas, said Tuesday, hours after Biles, the greatest gymnast in history, had bowed out of the women’s team event at the Tokyo Games, and one day before she said she would also skip the all-around individual competition.

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