On Tuesday, the greatest gymnast of all time, Simone Biles, pulled out of the team competition at the Tokyo Games, according to officials.
Update: On Wednesday, Biles withdrew from the individual all-around final.
“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health,” read a statement from USA Gymnastics Wednesday. “We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”
Biles struggled in her vault early Tuesday morning (evening in Tokyo), nearly landing on her knees, according to reports. Biles apparently left the floor and was looked at by trainers. But not long after, it was announced that she would not be competing the rest of the night.
Without Biles, Team USA was upset by Russia, taking silver and ending a decade of dominance. Britain took the bronze.
The Associated Press reported an apparent injury, but according to NBC, Biles’ injury wasn’t physical, but a “mental issue she is having.”
On the Today Show, she said:
“Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape. Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment. Coming here to the Olympics and being the head star isn’t an easy feat, so we’re just trying to take it one day at a time and we’ll see.”
“[Biles] will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” USA Gymnastics officials said in the statement.
After a rough start to her Olympics, Biles took to Instagram to detail the pressure she feels at these Games posting:
“it wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it. I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The olympics is no joke! BUT I’m happy my family was able to be with me virtually🤍 they mean the world to me!”
Jordan Chiles, who had initially done an outstanding filling in for Biles as an alternate, fell on her third tumbling pass on floor.
“I’m OK, just super frustrated of how the night, but super proud of these girls and now we’re silver medalists,” Biles said. “Something we’ll cherish forever. We hope America still loves us.”
It’s unclear whether or not Biles will be able to compete in the all-around or individual apparatus events.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.