Simone Biles Says 'Physically I Feel Good,' Talks Mental State After Exiting Olympic Women's Gymnastics Final
By Rachel McRady
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Simone Biles left the competition floor with the Team USA medical trainer after her first rotation on the vault of the women's team final at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old gymnast did not do the Amanar vault, but opted instead for another move, which earned her a 13.766, the lowest score of any of her Olympics showings.
"Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue," USA Gymnastics said in a statement to multiple news outlets. "She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions."
"Physically, I feel good, I'm in shape," Biles said. "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."
As for whether she'll compete on Thursday, Biles added, "We're going to take it day by day and we're just gonna see."
Shortly after, Biles spoke at a press conference, telling reporters, “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. We have to protect our body and our mind. It just sucks when you’re fighting with your own head.”
Biles cited tennis star Naomi Osaka for inspiring her to focus on her mental health, saying she and her teammates are "not just athletes, we’re people at the end of the day.”
Biles also took to Twitter, retweeting some messages of support before posting a simple white heart.
Reserve Jordan Chiles replaced Biles after she left the floor ahead of her uneven bars rotation. Biles later returned to the arena with her right leg wrapped and hugged her teammates. She then put on a jacket and sweatpants, and the team finished the competition without Biles.
In the end, the U.S. team earned silver in the final.
Following Biles' exit, former Olympian Aly Raisman also spoke to Today. “I feel sick to my stomach; it’s horrible... You know, she’s human, and I think sometimes people forget that," Raisman said. "And Simone, just like everyone else, is doing the best that she can.”
Gymnast MyKayla Skinner, whose Olympic run ended on Sunday, told Today, “My heart broke for her; I can’t imagine what she’s going through."
After earning a silver medal, Biles again took to social media to share a photo of her and her teammates, writing, "OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALISTS. I’m SO proud of these girls right here. You girls are incredibly brave and 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."