Simone Biles is beginning to shed light on one of the great mysteries of the Tokyo Olympics.
The superstar gymnast told reporters Tuesday she withdrew from the women’s gymnastics team final because she wasn’t in the right frame of mind to compete. Biles apparently was struggling to cope with the stress of being one of the faces of both Team USA and the Tokyo Olympics. Biles exited the competition after one rotation. She had tried to perform an Amanar vault during the first rotation but pulled out of the move in midair and failed to stick her landing, producing a disappointing score. She exited the finals minutes later, with USA Gymnastics citing a “medical issue” as the reason.
After cheering on her teammates to the silver medal, Biles offered additional insight into her withdrawal.
“I’m okay,” Biles said. “Just dealing with some things internally that will get fixed in the next couple of days.”
Biles, 24, detailed the timeline for her decision in a press conference.
“Today has been really stressful,” she said, per CNN’s Coy Wire. ” … We had a workout this morning. It went okay, and then, just that 5.5-hour break or something I was just like shaking, could barely nap. I just never get like this going into a competition before. And I tried to go out here and have fun and warm-ups in the back went a little bit better. But once I came out here I was like ‘No. Mental’s not there, so I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself.'”
Biles is scheduled to compete Thursday in the Olympics all-around final, where she hopes to defend her title. She told reporters she plans to use the next day or so to attempt to recover fully from what felled her Tuesday.
“To focus on my well-being,” Biles said, as seen in a video The Mail’s Ian Herbert shared. “There’s more to life than just gymnastics. It is very unfortunate that it had to happen at this stage because I definitely wanted this Olympics to go a little bit better, but again take it one day at a time. We’re going to see how the rest goes.”
Biles is the most successful gymnast in history but her Tokyo Olympics campaign to date has proven she too is human. The world will be watching closely Thursday to see whether she bounces back from her decision.