Simone Biles has withdrawn from her individual all-around final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, USA Gymnastics have announced. The 24-year-old looked set to win her first gold of this summer’s Olympics in the women’s team final on Tuesday.
But she sent shockwaves in the Gymnastics arena after pulling out of the event following her performance on the vault.
Team USA later announced that Biles withdrew for ‘mental health’ reasons as the Americans won silver.
Speaking after the event, Biles opened up on her struggles and feeling “the weight of the world” on her shoulders.
“After the performance I did, I just didn’t want to go on,” she said. “I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now.
“We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.
“I don’t trust myself as much anymore. Maybe it’s getting older. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world.
“We’re not just athletes. We’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back.
“I didn’t want to go out and do something stupid and get hurt. I feel like a lot of athletes speaking up has really helped.”
Biles initially stated that she was planning on returning to the floor on Thursday for the individual all-around final.
But USA Gymnastics have now announced the four-time Olympic champion will no longer compete.
“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health,” the statement read.
“Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals.
Published at Wed, 28 Jul 2021 06:30:00 +0000