UPDATE 8:10 A.M. PST: Simone spoke to CNN and revealed she needed to step away for her mental health.
“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 wellbeing. We have to protect our body and our mind. It just sucks when you’re fighting with your own head.”
She added that her and her teammates are “not just athletes, we’re people at the end of the day.”
Biles 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…. I’m OK, just super frustrated of how the night, but super proud of these girls and now we’re silver medalists. Something we’ll cherish forever. We hope America still loves us.”
The team will also be taking a “mental rest day” tomorrow. We love to see people prioritizing their wellness!
Team USA‘s superstar gymnast Simone Biles has officially withdrawn from the team competition in Tokyo.
The 24-year-old star abruptly withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics “due to a medical issue” on Tuesday morning. She had just completed competing in the vault event at that point when she walked off the floor with her trainer by her side.
It wasn’t immediately clear what the medical issue was, but obviously it was serious enough to keep the best gymnast in the world off the mat. Teammate Jordan Chiles stepped up to fill in for Biles on the uneven bars.
USA Gymnastics released a brief statement, simply alluding to the possibility that Biles could still return for future events:
“Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
More of note was the heartbreak felt by her teammates and fans, alike. MyKayla Skinner — who Biles openly supported during her own tough ordeal in Tokyo earlier this week — was understandably in anguish over Biles’ departure from the mat.
Skinner spoke to TODAY on Tuesday, saying:
“My heart broke for her. I can’t even imagine what she’s going through right now. I wish I could run down there and give her a big hug.”
Of course, Biles had been the heavy favorite to win the individual all-around competition as well as several other events at this Olympic Games. Earlier this week, the elite athlete even posted about how she’s not immune to the pressures of the world’s biggest stage:
Her step back also severely hurts Team USA’s chances of defending its gold medal won back in 2016; Skinner tried to sound optimistic about her teammates stepping things up in Biles’ absence, but losing the greatest gymnast of all time is quite a blow:
“You can never give up on hope … They can do this, I don’t know if they’ll be able to pull into first. I’m not sure, I’m hoping they can still take on the silver medal, or maybe the bronze. I guess we’ll just have to see how they do and handle this pressure.”
Hours later on Tuesday morning, Team USA eventually took home the silver medal in the all-around team competition; Russia won gold, while Great Britain earned the bronze. For now, fans are also heartbroken about Biles’ step back from the team event. Here are just a few of the responses posted early this morning in the hours after the “medical issue” news first broke:
“Good morning and Happy Tuesday to everyone, especially Simone Biles who pulled out of the Olympics today, but she’s STILL the GOAT”
“Simone Biles kicked everybody’s tail in 2018 with a kidney stone. As great as she is, her toughness might be even better. To do what she’s done at this level for 8 years is incredible. Appreciate that no matter where this goes.”
“We’re all still rooting for Simone Biles”
“Simone Biles deserves rest, thanks for her exceptional service, and us to leave her the f**k in peace.”
“Simone Biles is the greatest of all time. That’s all.”
“May we all take Simone Biles’ lead and put the needs of ourselves above the false expectations others set for us.”
Thoughts, Perezcious readers?
Share ’em down in the comments (below)…
[Image via FayesVision/ATP/WENN]