Simone Biles Withdraws From All-Around Gymnastics Competition


Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles will not compete in Thursday’s all-around event after she withdrew from the team finals due to a mental health issue, according to an emailed statement from USA Gymnastics.

“Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether she will qualify for next week’s event finals,” the statement said.

Biles, 24, qualified for all four event finals next week, and was expected to win a gold medal in at least three of those events. Anywhere, she hoped to repeat her title at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, becoming the first woman to win back-to-back titles in 53 years.

After the first event in the team finals on Tuesday, where team USA won the silver medal, Biles told his coach and a team doctor that he couldn’t continue because he wasn’t mentally focused enough to safely perform his activities. During his vault, which was the first event of the night, he disappeared in midair and was unable to know where his body was relative to the ground, and had to construct a simpler vault than he had planned. He stepped forward on the landing, trying to stay on his feet.

Later, Biles said he felt increasingly stressed as the Olympics progressed. In the hours before the event, his body was shaking and he could not take a nap to rest.

As the team event began, he realized he wasn’t in the right “headroom” to continue, for fear of injuring himself and also because he didn’t want to jeopardize the team’s chances of winning a medal. The USA team had dominated the sport for more than a decade before the Russians won the gold medal on Tuesday.

Jade Carey, who scored the ninth highest point in the qualifiers, will replace Biles in the all-around final. It’s unclear whether Biles will compete in any individual device finals.


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