Following “further medical evaluation,” American gymnastics superstar Simone Biles has withdrawn from Thursday’s final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics “to focus on her mental health,” USA Gymnastics announced.
“Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals,” the sport’s national governing body said in a statement Wednesday. “We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”
Jade Carey, who had the ninth-highest score in qualifications, will compete in Biles’ place in the all-around on Thursday, according to USA Gymnastics.
Biles, considered the greatest gymnast in history, had qualified in all six of the women’s gymnastics finals at the Tokyo Olympics — team, individual all-around, vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor. The 24-year-old was on track to win an unprecedented six gold medals during the Games, with the aim of becoming the first woman since 1968 to win back-to-back titles in the all-around — a competition that tests individual gymnasts on each of the four apparatuses.
The decision to withdraw came on the heels of Biles’ early exit from the team final on Tuesday, after a rare stumble on her first vault.
Afterwards, Biles spoke with her coach and a trainer before walking off the competition floor, leaving teammates Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum to finish the event. Team USA ultimately placed in second, winning a silver medal, while Russia’s team took the gold.
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