USA Gymnastics confirmed on Monday that Simone Biles will compete in the artistic gymnastics balance beam final, which is scheduled for Tuesday. After withdrawing from the all-around final and finals for the other individual apparatus, Biles will compete in the last women’s gymnastics event of the competition alongside teammate Sunisa Lee.
Biles pulled out of Monday’s gymnastics floor exercises finals, an event for which she won Gold at 2016’s Rio Olympics. The Gold medal for the event will be returning to the US, however, as Biles’ teammate Jade Carey stepped up to take the win on the apparatus.
Considered the greatest gymnast of all time, Biles surprised the world last week when she withdrew out of the women’s gymnastics team all-around final, citing mental health concerns. She followed it up by pulling out of the Individual all-around finals, and then the vault and uneven bars finals too.
In the wake of her first withdrawal last Tuesday, Biles said she wasn’t in the right mental state to compete. “I just felt like it would be a little bit better to take a backseat, work on my mindfulness and I knew that the girls would do an absolutely great job and I didn’t want to risk the team a medal,” Biles said at a press conference.
“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition,” read a statement from USA Gymnastics following her removal from the individual all-arounds finals. “We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”
In a subsequent statement on Biles’ withdrawal from the floor exercises finals, USA Gymnastics said Biles would “make a decision on beam later this week.”
Biles said on social media that she’s been suffering from the “twisties” — a phenomenon where the gymnast loses the ability to tell where they are in the end while performing twists, making it difficult to negotiate a safe landing. Unlike Biles’ other events, her beam routine doesn’t rely as heavily on twists, aside from her dismount, which she will possibly replace with another move.
Biles entered thewith serious momentum. She currently holds more medals than any other gymnastics competitor, with 25 — 19 of which are golds. Biles is one of six women the US sent to the Olympics to compete in gymnastics, alongside Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee, Grace McCallum, Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner. All six will leave Tokyo with at least one medal.
Simone Biles’ remaining events
Olympic gymnastics comprises four events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Following her qualification round, Biles was set to compete in all four. In total, Biles was expected to win up to six gold medals. In Rio’s 2016 Olympics she won four golds — in vault, floor, individual all-around and team all-around — and performed with such distinction that she was chosen as the US flag bearer at the closing ceremonies.
In a move that earned her mass support and praise — amid some criticism — Biles has pulled out of all events except Tuesday’s balance beam final.
Withdrawn — Floor exercise final: Aug. 2, 1 a.m. PT/ 4 a.m. ET/9 a.m. UK time/6 p.m. AEST
Balance beam final: Aug. 3, 1 a.m. PT/ 4 a.m. ET/9 a.m. UK time/6 p.m. AEST
In the US, you can watch the Olympics and all of the above events through NBC. NBC’s TV channel will air edited versions of the Games during prime-time hours, but you can watch the events live onor on NBCOlympics.com. Viewers in the UK will watch through EuroSport, while Australians can see the games through Channel 7 and the 7plus streaming service.
Best gymnast ever
Biles has become a significant force unto herself in recent years: She’s often called the greatest gymnast of all time and, after just one Olympic Games, is considered a top-tier Olympian.
Her accolades go beyond medals, and include being named ESPN’s Most Dominant Athlete of the Year (2018), ESPN’s Woman of the Year (2016) and AP’s Female Athlete of the Year (2019).
CNET’s Sean Keane and Katie Collins contributed to this report.