2021-07-28 23:25:31 Simone Biles Withdraws From Individual All-Around Final
Simone Biles Withdraws From Individual All-Around Final
Simone Biles withdrew from the women’s individual all-around gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, citing mental health concerns.
Biles, America’s most decorated gymnast, also withdrew from the team final on Tuesday due to mental health issues after struggling on the vault early on.
Biles qualified first for the individual all-around event and was considered a heavy favorite to win multiple gold medals at the Olympics.
However, USA Gymnastics announced on Wednesday that Biles had also withdrawn from the individual all-around competition “in order to focus on her mental health.”
“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement. “Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”
Biles’ withdrawal comes after a dramatic turn of events during the team finals on Tuesday, when the 24-year-old withdrew mid-competition after her first rotation.
Biles was supposed to complete all four rotations for Team USA during the finals, but she appeared unsettled as she took to the vault, which is usually one of her strongest events. She appeared to bail at the last second, performing 1.5 twists instead of 2.5 and landing with a large correction. The vault scored her 13.766, a significant drop from her previous Olympics average of 16.050 for the same event, and the lowest score in the rotation.
Biles then exited the competition floor, returning to the sidelines to cheer on her teammates, who went on to win the silver medal.
Later, she told reporters that she didn’t feel right during the buildup and had backed out because she “didn’t want to risk the team a medal for my screwups because they’ve worked way too hard for that.”
“I was just, like, shaking, could barely nap,” Biles added. “I just never felt like this going into a competition before.”
Biles had told her Instagram followers the day before the team final that she felt the “weight of the world” on her shoulders.
Biles “will continue to be evaluated daily,” to see if she can compete in individual events next week, according to USA Gymnastics.