Tokyo Olympics America’s top gymnast Simone Biles withdraws from women’s group competitions photo from parade
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Tokyo Olympics: America’s top gymnast Simone Biles withdraws from women’s group competitions

Jul 28, 2021, 3:25 AM
Nicole Pulido

Nicole Pulido

Writer

Intense pressures reportedly led to America's top gymnast Simone Biles dropping out of the women’s gymnastics team final at the Tokyo Olympics.

SIMON Biles was left weighing her Olympic future on Tuesday (July 26) following her decision to drop out of the women’s gymnastics team final at the Tokyo Olympics after a disappointing vault.

“I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and wellbeing,” Biles, considered as among the United States’ top gymnasts, said in a statement.

She dropped out of the women’s team gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics due to a “medical issue,” according to a statement issued by the U.S.A. Gymnastics.

“She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” the organization added.

For so long, Biles had appeared invincible, racking up 30 world and Olympic medals in a spectacular career that was expected to come to a closely watched climax in Tokyo as she launched a bid for six gold medals that would make her the greatest female Olympic champion of all time.

But just as her quest got under way on Tuesday it all unraveled, the 24-year-old American later conceding that the pressure of living up to expectations had left her no other choice but to stop after one vault.

Asked if she would compete in the all-around event final on Thursday, Biles replied: “Yes.”

But her answer changed in an interview today. “Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape,” she told Hoda Kotb, an American talk show host, in Tokyo.

“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.”

She lined up as expected for Tuesday’s team competition, only to leave the arena with a coach after stumbling backward as she landed a vault that was already missing a technically demanding final twist.

She returned to the competition floor soon afterward but pulled out of her next scheduled event, the uneven bars.

“There is more to life than just gymnastics,” she said. “It is very unfortunate that it has to happen at this stage, because I definitely want to just do a little bit better but again take it one day at a time, and we’re going to see how the rest goes. There comes a time when I have to do it for myself. Coming in today was like fighting those demons. I have to do what’s right for me and not jeopardize my health and well-being.”

Current and former Team USA gymnasts were quick to rally for Biles. There was an instant outpouring of support for Biles on social media.

As of now it is still unclear whether she will push through with her individual category to defend her title in the all-around final on Thursday.

She also qualified for all four event finals later in the Games. (NP)

Tags: #TokyoOlympics, #gymnastics, #SimoneBiles


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