Simone Biles Forced Out Of Team Competition At Olympics
Simone Biles has withdrawn from the women’s team artistic gymnastics final after experiencing a ‘mental issue’, a spokesperson for USA Gymnastics has said.
According to NBC, Biles briefly left the arena after completing two vaults before returning to speak with her teammates. She was replaced by Jordan Chiles, and will reportedly not compete further today.
Concerns were first raised after Biles made a rare mistake during her first vault, with American commentators saying they had ‘never once, not once, seen her bail out of a vault like that’.
A spokesperson for USA Gymnastics who confirmed the withdrawal told NBC that Biles’ departure was ‘not injury related’, but added that instead it was due to a ‘mental issue she is having’. Biles is set to compete in all five individual events later this week, but there are now clear doubts over whether she’ll be able to proceed in what is widely expected to be her final Olympics.
Biles had an uncharacteristically shaky qualification round on Sunday, stepping off on her floor routine and vault landing, and only narrowly qualifying for the beam final.
In an Instagram post yesterday, the legendary gymnast revealed that she’s felt heavy pressure coming into Tokyo 2020 as the face of the US’s team and one of the biggest draws of the Olympics.
‘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,’ she wrote.
The US, who went into the games as strong favourites for the team final, are facing a strong challenge from the Russian and Chinese teams. Biles has remained in the arena to support her teammates in the remainder of the final.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Most Read StoriesMost Read