Simone Biles has sensationally quit tomorrow night’s individual all-round event and will not be able to defend her Olympic title.
The four time gold medal winner, the current champion, decided not to compete in Thursday’s finals after consulting with Team US officials following her dismal withdrawal from the team competition on Tuesday.
USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Wednesday that the 24-year-old is opting to not compete. The decision comes a day after Biles removed herself from the team final following one rotation because she felt she wasn’t mentally ready.
‘After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health,’ USA Gymnastics said in a statement.
‘Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals. 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.’
Jade Carey, who finished ninth in qualifying, will take Biles’ place in the all-around.
Carey initially did not qualify because she was the third-ranking American behind Biles and Sunisa Lee. International Gymnastics Federation rules limit countries to two athletes per event in the finals.
Following Tuesday’s withdrawal, where the US ultimately finished second to the Russian Olympic Committee, Biles – widely referred to as the the ‘greatest of all time’ (GOAT) in her sport – said she wanted to concentrate on ‘what’s right for me and focus on my mental health’.
The four-time gold medal winner has quit tomorrow night’s individual all-round event and will not be able to defend her Olympic title
She added: ‘I just don’t trust myself as much as I used to. I don’t know if it’s age, but I’m a little bit more nervous when I do gymnastics.
‘I feel like I’m also not having as much fun, and I know that this Olympic Games I wanted to do it for myself, and I was still doing it for other people, so that just hurts my heart badly, that doing what I love has been taken away.
‘Whenever you get in a high stress situation, you kind of freak out. I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being. It just sucks when you’re fighting with your own head.’
Despite pulling out of tomorrow’s event, Biles posted an affectionate message on Instagram this morning to her teammate Jordan Chiles, along with a picture of them both dancing with the silver medals.
She wrote:’ Love you ❤️ so happy for you!!!!!!!.’
Jordan also posted a picture of them together in front of an emblem of the Olympic rings and wrote: ‘To my best friend, just thinking about everything we have gone through together …from us getting mad at each other for no reason to laughing at jokes, to bringing the love of this sport back to me with your help words can’t explain how proud I am of you.
‘I LOVE YOU and am literally crying just thinking about everything. WE did this together.
Biles came to Tokyo as arguably the face of the Games following the retirement of swimmer Michael Phelps and sprinter Usain Bolt.
She topped qualifying on Sunday despite piling up mandatory deductions on vault, floor and beam following shaky dismounts.
She posted on social media on Monday that she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. The weight became too heavy after vaulting during team finals. She lost herself in mid-air and completed 1 1/2 twists instead of 2 1/2. She consulted with U.S. team doctor Marcia Faustin before walking off the field of play.
When she returned, she took off her bar grips, hugged teammates Sunisa Lee, Grace McCallum and Jordan Chiles and turned into the team’s head cheerleader as the U.S. claimed silver behind the Russian Olympic Committee.
‘Once I came out here (to compete), I was like, `No mental is, not there so I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself,” Biles said following the medal ceremony.
Biles posted an affectionate message on Instagram this morning to her teammate Jordan Chiles, along with a picture of them both dancing with the silver medals
The 24-year-old had pulled out after one rotation of the women’s team final on Tuesday in Tokyo, citing mental health concerns.
An American Olympic official told MailOnline: ‘It might have been too soon for Simone to re-appear on the Olympic stage tomorrow night. We support her decision to withdraw.
‘There would have been even greater attention on her and that is the very thing which has been adding to her state of mind. It cannot be easy for her.
‘But she is receiving a lot of help and guidance – and a whole lotta love as well.
‘You have seen what she said about mindfulness and that is the big priority for all of us.
‘Anything she does at these Olympics will ultimately be in the best interest for her. She just needs to get some rest and we all need to evaluate the next step.
‘It has to be 100 per cent Simone’s health first. She is already an Olympic champion and has no reason to feel anything but pride.
But it was revealed that behind then scenes Simone was in tears with officials and talking about ‘demons’ which had been affecting her mental state.
After yesterday’s withdrawal, Biles had spoken out to praise the ‘bravery’ of her Olympic teammates and thank them for ‘stepping up when she couldn’t’.
Will Simone Biles continue ANY of her individual quests for gold? Gymnast’s finals thrown into doubt
After her shock withdrawal from the team final and tomorrow’s all-round, Simone Biles’ future at the Tokyo Olympics is in serious doubt.
She is still scheduled to take part in the finals for the vault, uneven bars, floor exercise, and balance beam.
Should she choose to take part – and provided she gets the all-clear from USA Gymnastics – Biles’ upcoming events schedule is:
- SUNDAY, AUGUST 1: Vault final and uneven bars final
- MONDAY, AUGUST 2: Floor exercise final
- TUESDAY, AUGUST 3: Balance beam final
Biles struggled in qualifying for these four events, ending up in eighth and final spot for uneven bars, the sixth spot for balance beam, and the second spot on floor exercise.
The 24-year-old cited her mental health struggles as the reason for her shock exit, said she made the decision to prioritize her own ‘wellbeing’ while insisting ‘there is more to life than just gymnastics’.
‘It is very unfortunate that it has to happen at this stage because I definitely wanted this Olympics to go a little bit better but again, we’ll take it one day at a time and we’re going to see how the rest goes,’ Biles told reporters.
The gymnast also insisted that her decision to pull out of the competition after just one event – when she was due to take part in all four – was made, in part, to help her team, saying that she ‘didn’t want to risk the team medal’ with her ‘screw up’.
‘I thought it was best that these girls took over the job which they absolutely did,’ she continued, saying that the shock upset made them ‘stronger’ as a team. ‘They are Olympic silver medalists now and they should be really proud of themselves now for how well they did last minute.’
Meanwhile, three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, who was the captain of both The Fierce Five and The Final Five, is criticizing USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee for what she deems as lack of leadership and support for their athletes.
‘USA Gymnastics has been an absolute disaster for years and unfortunately not enough has changed for us to believe in a safer future, but I think this just really shows the lack of leadership [of] USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee,’ Raisman told CNN.
She argues that Biles’ sudden exit from the final could be an indicator of a larger problem within the organizations.
The four-time gold medal winner (pictured on Tuesday competing in the vault in Tokyo), the current champion, decided not to compete in Thursday’s finals after consulting with Team US officials following her dismal withdrawal from the team competition on Tuesday
The 24-year-old – who had been expected to lead the US to gold in the team event – was withdrawn from the lineup after flubbing her vault in the opening minutes of the team final competition in Tokyo on Tuesday
Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles was pulled out of the team final because of a ‘mental issue’ following a shock error on vault – leaving her forced to watch from the sidelines as her teammates suffered an agonizing defeat to their Russian rivals
‘Their best athlete is struggling… is there someone there to help her?’ said Raisman. ‘I don’t know. I’m not there, so I don’t know. But I think it’s an important question that we should be asking.’
The Olympian, who cited her own experiences, acknowledged that being a star athlete in the global spotlight is ‘a tremendous amount of pressure’.
‘I’m completely devastated and I support [Biles] so much,’ she added.
Biles also received support from Athleta, the Gap-owned women’s sports apparel company that also serves as one of Biles’ sponsors.
She thanked Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee, and Jordan Chiles for ‘having her back’, saying that she was ‘inspired by their determination’
The gymnast also posted a simple white heart on Twitter
‘We stand by Simone and support her well-being both in and out of competition,’ Athleta Chief Brand Officer Kyle Andrew said in a statement obtained by Fox Business. ‘Being the best also means knowing how to take care of yourself. We are inspired by her leadership today and are behind her every step of the way.’
Former first lady Michelle Obama echoed the outpour of support for Biles in a tweet Tuesday night.
‘Am I good enough? Yes, I am. The mantra I practice daily,’ Obama wrote. ‘@Simone_Biles, we are proud of you and we are rooting for you. Congratulations on the the silver medal, Team @USA!’
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland applauded Biles for prioritizing her ‘mental wellness over all else’ and offered the organization’s full support.
USA Gymnastics women’s program vice-president called Biles’ act ‘incredibly selfless.’
Despite claiming a silver medal alongside her teammates, who were left on the verge of tears when Biles withdrew, the sporting superstar insisted the second-place finish had ‘nothing to do with her’ and gave full credit to Lee, Chiles and McCallum.
‘This medal is all of them and the coaches and nothing to do with me,’ she said.
Biles – who had been expected to lead the US to gold – was withdrawn from the lineup after flubbing her vault in the opening minutes of the team final competition in Tokyo on Tuesday.
The gymnast admitted that she is ‘dealing with some things internally’, but seemingly vowed to return to competition in time for the all-around final, having gone into the Olympics as the favorite to win the gold.
‘I’m OK,’ Biles said later. ‘Just dealing with some things internally which will get fixed out in the next couple of days.’
When asked by the BBC whether she is planning to take part in the upcoming all-around final in two days, she had replied simply: ‘Yes.’
However, when speaking to the Today show, Biles confessed that her determination to take part in the event – where she would be defending her championship title – is not enough to cement her place in the lineup, saying: ‘We’re going to take it day by day, and we’re just going to see.’
She went on: ‘Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape. Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment. Coming to the Olympics and being head star isn’t an easy feat, so we’re just trying to take it one day at a time and we’ll see.’
Simone confessed that her decision to withdraw from the final was inspired by athletes like Naomi Osaka (seen as she crashed out of the Olympics in the third round on Tuesday) – who voiced a similar sentiment about her own mental health struggles when she quit the French Open earlier this year
USAG said that Simone will be ‘assessed daily’ to determine whether she can compete in the individual event finals – meaning that her Olympics could well come to a very swift and very dramatic end, dashing her hopes of adding five more gold medals to her already-impressive tally
Opening up about her determination to prioritize her mental health Biles praised the other athletes — like tennis player Naomi Osaka who quit the French Open earlier this year, citing her own mental health problems — who have spoken out about their own struggles, insisting that it has become a more important issue than ever.
‘I have to focus on my mental health,’ Biles said. ‘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.’
She admitted that her confidence has taken a serious knock as a result of her mental health issues, confessing: ‘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. It’s so big, it’s the Olympic Games, at the end of the day we don’t want to be carried out of there on a stretcher.
‘You have to be there 100 percent or 120 percent or you’re going to hurt yourself.’
In a poignant twist, Biles’ sensational exit from the team final came just hours after Osaka, who is representing her home nation of Japan at the Tokyo Games, crashed out of the Olympic competition in the third round in yet another dramatic upset.
Speaking about the uncharacteristic error in a post-event press conference, Biles confessed that she felt as though she had ‘robbed’ her teammates of a fighting chance to claim the gold, saying: ‘It’s really unfortunate to have a score like that go up there for the team. I feel I robbed them… We could have been a little bit higher in the rankings.
‘I didn’t do my job. They came out and they stepped up. They did what they needed to do.’
In an Instagram post shared shortly after the team final came to a close, Biles once again praised her teammates for their performance, thanking them for ‘fighting through adversity’ and ‘stepping up when she couldn’t’.
‘I’m SO proud of these girls right here,’ she wrote, while sharing an image of the four-woman squad proudly posing with their silver medals.
‘You girls are incredibly brave & talented! I’ll forever be inspired by your determination to not give up and to fight through adversity!
‘They stepped up when I couldn’t. thanks for being there for me and having my back! forever love y’all.’
Former first lady Michelle Obama echoed the outpour of support for Biles in a tweet
The gymnast hugged each of her fellow Team USA athletes and reassured them that they were ‘going to be fine’, saying: ‘You’ve been training your whole entire lives for this’
Simone looked devastated as the news of her withdrawal was announced and she was seen being comforted by one of her coaches, Cecile Landi
She left the stadium with her trainer and was closely followed by medical staff – sparking fears that she had sustained a serious injury. Moments later, it was announced that she had been pulled out of Team USA’s uneven bars lineup, and shortly after, it was revealed that she had been taken out of the competition altogether.
Video captured the moment that the gymnast shared the news with her three teammates, telling them that she was ‘sorry’, but insisting that they were ‘going to do great’ because they had ‘been training for this their whole lives’.
In the five years since Biles and the U.S. put on a dazzling display on their way to gold in Rio de Janeiro, gymnastics has undergone a reckoning.
The customs in a sport where obedience, discipline and silence were long considered as important as talent and artistry are seen to be changing.
Biles has become an outspoken advocate for athlete’s rights and the importance of proper mental health, and Tuesday’s event final is not the first time that Biles has opened up about her mental health issues.
In 2019, the gymnast revealed that she was left struggling with suicidal thoughts while trying to deal with the abuse she suffered at the hands of USAG’s pedophile doctor Larry Nassar.
Biles was one of more than 150 women who was abused by the USA Gymnastics national team doctor during his 30-year career. He was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison in 2018.
Speaking out about the long-lasting trauma of the abuse in an interview with Priyanka Chopra Jonas, the athlete admitted that she was ‘very depressed’ after openly revealing that she had been a victim of Nassar, having ‘denied’ and ‘buried’ the abuse for years.
She revealed that she began ‘sleeping all the time’, confessing that she remained in her room and in bed ‘because it was the closest thing to death’.
Team USA had gone into the Olympics as the favorites to win the final, but their journey got off to a very rocky start in the qualifying competition when they made a series of uncharacteristic errors
During the candid conversation, Biles reflected on the moment she realized she was being abused, and the heartbreaking moment that she shared the realization with her mother, Nellie.
‘I called [my friend] and I asked her the definition of ‘sexually abused,’ because some of my other friends, they had had it worse than me,’ she recalled. ‘She said, ‘If he did that and that, you’ve been sexually abused.”
The athlete said she initially brushed off her friend’s words because wasn’t ‘willing to put that out there for the world to see.’ She didn’t want people to see her as a sexual abuse survivor instead of ‘Simone the gymnast.’
‘And, so, I denied it and I buried it. And I was very depressed. I never left my room. I was sleeping all the time,’ she recalled.
‘I told one of my lawyers, I said, ‘I sleep all the time because it’s the closest thing to death.”
Earlier this month, Biles again opened up about the horrifying abuse she suffered, this time in a docuseries for Facebook Watch.
‘I slept all the time and it’s because sleeping was basically better than offing myself,’ she said as tears welled up in her eyes. ‘It was like my way to escape reality, and sleeping was like the closest thing to death for me at that point. So I just slept all the time.’
As a competitive athlete, she struggled with not knowing when she would start healing from the trauma she endured.
‘With gymnasts, if you get injured, you’re like, okay, your heal time is four to six weeks, but then with something so traumatic that happens like this, well it’s no four to six weeks, so it’s hard for us to process that,’ she explained. ‘There’s like actually no time limit or healing time for it, so you just take it day by day.’