USA’s Simone Biles reacts after competing in the artistic gymnastics vault event of the women’s qualification during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on July 25, 2021. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP)
Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles said “mental health” concerns had led to her withdrawal from the women’s team final at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.
“I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and my wellbeing,” the 24-year-old American said after her team were beaten by the Russian quartet in her absence.
Biles exited the final at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre after a lacklustre opening vault and walked off the competition floor before returning a short time later.
The US team immediately withdrew her from the rest of the final.
After she joined her teammates to collect their silver medals, four-time Olympic champion Biles confirmed she had not been injured.
USA’s Simone Biles gets ready to compete in the uneven bars event of the artistic gymnastics women’s qualification during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on July 25, 2021. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP)
She said: “I just don’t trust myself as much as I used to, and I don’t know if it’s age. I’m a little bit more nervous when I do gymnastics.
“I feel like I’m also not having as much fun, and I know that this Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself,” she said, as she began to cry.
“It just sucks that it happens here at the Olympics Games… with the year that it’s been, I’m really not surprised the way it played out.”