Story at a glance:
- Simone Biles withdrew from her team's competition at the Tokyo Games because of her mental health.
- Team USA women’s gymnastics went on to win the silver medal without Biles.
- Biles’ decision mirrors that of tennis star Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from two tennis opens for similar reasons.
Simone Biles withdrew from her team's competition at the Tokyo Games, but it was not because she was physically injured.
Team USA women’s gymnastics went on to win the silver medal without Biles after she decided to drop out for mental health reasons, The New York Post reported.
Taking inspiration from tennis star Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from the French Open in May and once more at Wimbledon in July, Biles is focusing on her mental well-being before competing as “the head star.”
“There’s more to life than just gymnastics,” Biles told reporters. “It’s very unfortunate that it happened at this stage, because I definitely wanted it to go a little bit better. Take it one day at a time and we’re gonna see how the rest goes.”
The 24-year-old gymnast “will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” according to the New York Post, adding that her departure was initially listed as an unspecified “medical issue.”
“We’re going to take it a day at a time and see what happens,” she said. “I have to focus on my mental health.
“I just don’t trust myself as much anymore. I don’t know if it’s age, I’m just more nervous when I do gymnastics. I feel like I’m also not having as much fun. And I know this Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself. I’m still doing it for other people.”
While she did leave the team’s competition, Biles is expected to compete in the all-around competition which begins on Thursday, and the four gold medalist will compete as an individual in other apparatus events.
“Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape,” Biles told NBC’s Hoda Kotb. “Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and the moment. Coming here to the Olympics and being the head star of the Olympics is not 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 went, but super proud of these girls and now we’re silver medalists. Something we’ll cherish forever. We hope America still loves us.”
When Biles left her team, she stated that they cried and “were freaking out.” She had to assure them that the team could still win.
As a side note, Osaka was eliminated Tuesday from the women’s tennis singles competition.
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