Simone Biles withdraws from Olympics all-around gymnastic final to focus on mental health
Update: Simone Biles has withdrawn from competition in the all-around Olympic gymnastic final to focus on her mental health.
The USA Gymnastics organization released a statement early Wednesday, saying, "After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition. 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 won the all-around gold medal at the 2020 Summer Games.
Previously: American gymnast Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team competition at the Tokyo Olympics Tuesday, after suffering a "medical issue," according to an official United States Gymnastics team statement.
The statement adds that Biles "will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions" without ruling her out from individual contests in the future. A representative for Biles didn't immediately provide EW with more details on the 24-year-old's injury.
"Physically, I feel good, I'm in shape," Biles later told Hoda Kotb Today. "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."
PEOPLE reports that, in an interview with reporters, Biles said that she is "okay, just dealing with some things internally which will get fixed out in the next couple of days," and plans to return for the all-around final on Thursday.
Earlier Tuesday, New York Times reporter Juliet Macur offered live commentary from Tokyo as she observed Biles on the competition floor, moments before the athlete withdrew from the team event, for which her team ultimately received silver medals. Macur noted that Biles left the floor after huddling with the team doctor as the American women prepared for the uneven bars event. Earlier, she reported that Biles "had planned to do a Yurchenko vault with 2½ twists, but bailed out at the last second and only executed 1½ twists," and "stumbled backward" on the landing.
The Associated Press reported that, after her initial exit, Biles later returned and took off her bar grips before hugging teammates Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee, and Jordan Chiles. She then put on a jacket and sweatpants as Chiles replaced her on the uneven bars and balance beam.
Though Biles will sit the team contest out, she's slated to defend her Olympic title in the all-around final later this week, and also previously qualified for all four event finals in Tokyo. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, she won five medals, and could've claimed as many as six this year, given the number of events she qualified for.
"The whole globe is watching her right now, and they're speculating every little thing. I can't imagine what she's feeling right now. People have been keeping a close eye on her for the last few years," Biles' former teammate, Laurie Hernandez, told Today shortly after the news broke. "There's this immense pressure, there's this pressure of, 'I don't want to let my team down'.... mentally, physically, we just want to make sure that she's okay."
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