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'I'm praying for her' | Vikings running back Dalvin Cook shows support for Simone Biles

"If you're not healthy in the mind, your body is not going to compete at a high level," said Cook following the first day of training camp.
Credit: KARE

EAGAN, Minn. — Simone Biles' shocking withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics has resonated throughout the sports world, prompting several athletes to rally around the 24-year-old gymnast.

On Wednesday, Minnesota Vikings star running back Dalvin Cook offered his support as well.

The Vikings kicked off training camp at TCO Performance Center in Eagan, and following the team's first day of practice, Cook spoke about the pressures of competing with such high expectations.

"I think it goes unnoticed because we try to please a lot of people," said Cook. "We gotta go out here on Sundays, we gotta work hard, take care of our body... If you're not healthy in the mind, your body is not going to compete at a high level."

Cook knows what it takes to compete at a high level – rushing for 1,557 yards and 16 touchdowns last season, both career highs – and he commended the world's top-ranked gymnast for choosing to focus on her own personal health.

"She needs to take as much time as she can and get where she needs to be at," Cook said. "I'm praying for her and I take that very seriously."

In an interview on the "TODAY" show, former U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman echoed Cook's statements.

"She’s human, and I think sometimes people forget that," said the three-time Olympic gold medalist. "And Simone, just like everyone else, is doing the best that she can."

Another former gymnast, Kerri Strug went to Twitter to show her support.

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns went to Twitter to offer his support for Biles, saying he's "Sending nothing but love and positivity," to her.

Biles' teammate and St. Paul native Suni Lee posted shortly after 9 p.m. (CT) Tuesday night on Twitter how proud she was to be part of this year's team, adding "we do not owe anyone a gold medal, we are WINNERS in our hearts."

Lee will be one of two Americans competing in Thursday's final, with 21-year-old Jade Carey stepping in for Simone Biles, who withdrew from the event on Wednesday. Both Lee and Carey are slated to be part of the first rotation of athletes, where they'll compete in vault, uneven bars, balance beam and the floor exercise.

From NBC Olympics: Simone Biles competed in Team USA's first rotation on vault in the women's Olympic team final, bailing out of her Amanar and scoring a 13.766 for a 1.5 twist. Shortly after, she withdrew from the team contest. 

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