Simone Biles (center) cheers the performance of teammate Grace McCallum after she withdrew from the artistic gymnastics women’s final at the Summer Olympics on Tuesday in Tokyo. Ashley Landis/AP hide caption
Simone Biles (center) cheers the performance of teammate Grace McCallum after she withdrew from the artistic gymnastics women’s final at the Summer Olympics on Tuesday in Tokyo.
U.S. superstar gymnast Simone Biles, the greatest gymnast of all time, will not compete in the individual all-around gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.
The Olympic individual all-around is the sport’s marquee individual event — which she won by a huge margin at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
She pulled out of the team final on Tuesday, saying she needed to take care of her mental health.
“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement.
“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being,” USA Gymnastics added. “Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”
Biles still may compete in the individual event finals — USA Gymnastics said she’d be evaluated every day to determine whether she’ll take part. She qualified in all four of the events.
Jade Carey, who came to Tokyo as an event specialist, will take Biles’ place in the all-around individual event. Carey had an exceptionally strong showing at the qualifying event, placing ninth overall.
Biles Suddenly Withdrew From The Team Event, Citing Mental Health
After a rocky opening vault at the team final on Tuesday night, Biles told her coaches that she wanted to bow out of the competition.
“I’ve just never felt like this going into a competition before,” she told reporters later. “I tried to go out here and have fun … but once I came out here, I was like, ‘no, mental is not there, so I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself.'”
Her teammates rose to the challenge. Two of them — Sunisa Lee and Jordan Chiles — stepped in and competed in events they were expecting to, earning a silver medal.
The team members acknowledged that suddenly losing their biggest star was stressful, but expressed total support for Biles. “If it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t be here right now. We wouldn’t be silver Olympic medalists,” Chiles said.