Tokyo 2020: Simone Biles pulls out of gymnastics finals of vault and the uneven bars

USA Gymnastics says athlete will ‘continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam’

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Saturday 31 July 2021 03:29
Simone Biles says mental health issues behind Olympics withdrawal
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Simone Biles has pulled out of the Tokyo 2020 gymnastics finals for the vault and the uneven bars, it has been announced.

The Team USA superstar, who has not performed since pulling out of the team all-around event to deal with her mental health, withdrew form the events “after further consultation with medical staff.”

USA Gymnastics said in a statement that the gymnast will “continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam”.

Biles, 24, was expected to be one of the most dominant competitors at the games and compete for a host of gold medals to add to her glittering collection.

But in the first event of the games, she produced a poor vault, when she appeared to get lost in the air in something that gymnasts call the “twisties”.

Biles later told reporters, “I just don’t trust myself as much as I used to,” and has not been back on the floor ever since.

She later posted video to social media, which showed her struggling to land any of her routines as she was having trouble locating the floor.

“For anyone saying I quit, I didn’t quit,” she wrote.

“My mind and body are simply not in sync. As you can see here.”

And she added: “I don’t think you realise how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface.”

“Nor do I have to explain why I put health first. Physical health is mental health.”

Team USA went on to win the silver medal in the event, but Biles pulled out of the individual all-around competition, which was won by fellow American Sunisa Lee.

Biles was a cheerleader in the stands as her teammate from Minnesota won the event.

“We remain in awe of Simone, who continues to handle this situation with courage and grace, and all of the athletes who have stepped up during these unexpected circumstances,” the USA Gymnastics statement continued.

MyKayla Skinner will replace Biles in the vault final, alongside Jade Carey.

Earlier Biles posted an Instagram picture of herself being hugged by a coach, with the caption, “Forever thankful to have such an amazing support system by my side” alongside a silver heart.

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