Simone Biles, the USA gymnastics superstar, has decided to withdraw from the individual all-around final at the Olympic Games. This comes after she pulled out of the team gymnastics final yesterday. What was originally reported to be a withdrawal due to a medical issue, was later reported to be due to more “internal struggles,” citing mental health.
Despite an injury scare during her practice for her vault routine, Biles later spoke with BBC’s John Watson that she is “dealing with some things internally that will get fixed in the next few days.” This unfortunately means that she won’t be defending her Olympic title.
“I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times,” said Biles. “I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me, but damn sometimes it’s hard.”
Her unfortunate removal from the team competition led to teammate Jordan Chiles, competing in her first Olympic Games, having to take her place. Despite scoring well, the team’s effort wasn’t enough to beat the ROC (Russian Olympic Committee), and landed them a silver medal finish.
Though it hasn’t been confirmed as to whether or not Biles will be competing in the rest of the Olympic events, she has nonetheless qualified for them. The all-around final is set to take place on Thursday, with the finals for the individual events set to take place later on in the games.
Jade Carey will take Biles’ place in the all-around competition, as she was the third ranked American gymnast behind Sunisa Lee and Biles.
“I’m going out there to represent the USA, to represent the World Champions Centre, and to represent Black and Brown girls all over the world,” said Biles. “At the end of the day, I’m not representing USA Gymnastics.”
Sources: NYTIMES.COM, EXPRESS.CO.UK, SPORTSNET.CA, CNN.COM