Simone Biles Cites Mental Health For Withdrawal From Gymnastics Team Event at Olympics
By: Alyssa Wilson
Update: July 27, 2021 12:11 p.m.
Gymnast Simone Biles cited mental health concerns for withdrawing from the women’s team gymnastics final, according to the Associated Press.
“I didn’t want to go into any of the other events second-guessing myself,” Biles said. “So, I thought it would be better if I took a step back and let these girls go out there and do their job.”
On Monday, the 24-year-old said that she felt a lot of pressure competing at the Olympics and the weight of the world was on her shoulders.
One of the most remarkable mixed zone press conferences I’ve known. In which Simone Biles described pulling out of tonight’s team event because she had to put her mental health first. Says she was inspired by Naomi Osaka among others #Olympics #ArtisticGymnastics pic.twitter.com/p3Rli5S7J0
— Ian Herbert (@ianherbs) July 27, 2021
Team USA gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the women’s team gymnastics event due to a medical issue.
NBC first reported that Biles was dealing with a “mental issue,” but USA Gymnastics later released the following statement: “Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
Official statement: “Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
Thinking of you, Simone! pic.twitter.com/QA1GYHwWTv
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) July 27, 2021
According to Yahoo! Sports, Team USA gymnastics has been in a tough battle with Russia as it sought to get its third consecutive gold medal. Without Biles, Team USA faced an uphill battle as Russia worked to end the United States’ 11-year winning streak in the sport. Without Biles, Russia succeeded, winning gold with a team score of 169.528 and the U.S. fell to second place with 166.096.
There is no word on the extent of Biles’ injuries, or whether or not she will compete Thursday for the all-around title, or any other events in the four individual finals she qualified for.
After pulling out, Biles remained on the floor to cheer for her teammates. Jordan Chiles, who was originally sitting out, was subbed in.
In the 2016 Summer Games, Biles won four golds and one bronze. She is considered to be the greatest gymnast of all time. Tokyo was expected to be her send off from the Olympic Games. At 24, Biles is the first woman since 1992 to advance to all six possible Olympic finals, NBC reported.
Reports say Simone Biles pulled out due to mental issues. I pray people will have the same compassion that they’d have if it was physical. We have to get to the point in this country & around the world where we treat our mental health as seriously as the physical #OlympicGames
— Mike Hill (@ItsMikeHill) July 27, 2021
The possibility of Biles suffering from a “mental issue” has further opened discussions about the mental health of athletes. Biles has publicly spoken about seeing a psychologist and taking medication for her anxiety.
If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.
This article has been updated.
Teddy Grant contributed to the report.