The world champion gymnast has withdrawn from the individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health. Biles will still compete in team competitions, but she says it’s important for her to take care of herself first.
Simone Biles has withdrawn from the individual all-around gymnastics competition at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental well-being.
TOKYO, Japan — Simone Biles, the reigning Olympic champion in gymnastics, has withdrawn from Thursday’s individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics in order to concentrate on her mental health.
Biles made the choice a day after withdrawing from the team final after one spin on vault. When speaking to the media after the tournament, she cited her mental health as the reason.
“Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, after additional medical assessment, in order to concentrate on her mental health,” USA Gymnastics stated in a statement on Wednesday. “We fully support Simone’s choice and admire her courage in putting her own health first. Her bravery exemplifies why she is such a great model for so many people.”
Biles had been the clear favorite to win the individual all-around title for the second year in a row. After Tuesday’s performance, though, her condition was called into question, and she informed the media she wasn’t sure whether she’d be ready to participate on Thursday.
Biles’ spot in the all-around will be taken by Jade Carey, who placed ninth in qualifying. Carey was originally disqualified because she was the third-best American, behind only Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee. In the finals, the International Gymnastics Federation limits nations to two competitors each event.
Biles will be examined before competing in the individual competitions next week, according to USA Gymnastics. Biles qualified for the finals on all four apparatuses, something she didn’t accomplish in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, when she won five medals. The first two individual events, vault and floor exercise, are planned for Sunday. In Rio, Biles won gold in both events.
Following the retirements of swimmer Michael Phelps and speedster Usain Bolt, Biles, 24, arrived in Tokyo as perhaps the face of the Games. Despite required penalties on vault, floor, and beam due to weak dismounts, she finished first in qualification on Sunday.
On Monday, she said she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders in a social media post. After vaulting in the team finals, the weight got too heavy. She became disoriented in mid-air and only managed to complete 112 twists instead of the required 212. Before leaving the field of play, she sought advice from US team doctor Marcia Faustin.
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When Biles returned, she removed her bar grips, embraced colleagues Sunisa Lee, Grace McCallum, and Jordan Chiles, and took over as the team’s main cheerleader as the United States took silver behind the Russian Olympic Committee.
“Once I got here [to compete], I was like, ‘No, mental isn’t there, so I’ll just let the ladies do it and concentrate on myself,’” she says. Following the medal presentation, Biles remarked.
The ruling opens the way for the all-around, which was long seen to be a foregone conclusion. During qualifying, Rebeca Andrade of Brazil came in second behind Biles, followed by Lee and ROC’s Angelina Melnikova and Vladislava Urazova. On Sunday, the four were separated by three-tenths of a point.
Carey is currently in the final, completing an incredible trip for the 21-year-old Phoenix native. She spent two years touring the world in the hopes of accumulating enough points on the World Cup circuit to win an individual nominative slot, which would allow her to compete in the Olympics but not be part of the four-woman United States team.
During qualifying, Carey had the second-best vault score and the third-best floor score, securing her a spot in the event finals. She now finds herself fighting for an all-around medal while taking the place of the sport’s all-time best athlete.
This article was written with the help of the Associated Press.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did Biles drop out of Olympics?
Biles is a 16 year old female athlete, and the Olympics are for people 18 years or older.
Did Simone Biles drop out of Olympics?
Simone Biles did not drop out of the Olympics. She just withdrew from the individual all-around competition at the last minute due to a back injury, and she is still competing in team events.
Will Simone still compete in individuals?
Yes, Simone will still be competing in individuals.
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