Sat, 25 Sep 2021

Simone Biles cites mental health in opting out of team competition

Field Level Media
28 Jul 2021, 01:40 GMT+10

American gymnastics star Simone Biles withdrew from Tuesday's team final at the Tokyo Olympics due to what she later described as a mental health matter.

"I'm OK," Biles said. "Just dealing with things internally that will get fixed out within the next couple days.

"I felt like it would be better to take a back seat. I didn't want to risk the team a medal because they worked way too hard for my screw ups."

Cameras showed Biles, 24, walking with a team doctor with her foot heavily wrapped. She left the arena floor following the vault competition and returned to inform her teammates of her status before donning her warmup apparel.

"Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue," USA Gymnastics said in a statement. "She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions."

Biles later said she is not injured but hasn't committed to individual events starting Thursday.

Without Biles, the U.S. lost out on a third consecutive Olympic title.

The Russian Olympic Committee team won the gold medal with a score of 169.528. The U.S. (166.096) settled for the silver medal and Great Britain (164.096) took the bronze.

Biles earlier this week addressed via social media the weight she was feeling at the Olympics and the pressure to live up to the greatness labels applied by fans and media.

"I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times," she wrote via Instagram. "I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn't affect me but damn sometimes it's hard"

Jordan Chiles replaced Biles on the second floor rotation, which is the uneven bars, after commentators pointed out Biles did not complete the vault routine she intended.

Team doctor Marcia Faustin escorted her backstage before Biles returned to the floor area to embrace teammates Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee and Chiles.

Biles, who took home five medals at the 2016 Summer Games, qualified for the finals in all individual events in Tokyo.

--Field Level Media

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