Simone Biles surprised the gymnastics world when she pulled out of Tuesday’s women’s gymnastics team all-around final at the Tokyo Olympics, seeking to protect her mental health. On Wednesday it was announced Biles was also withdrawing from Thursday’s Individual all-around final.
“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition,” reads a statement from USA Gymnastics. “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 the wake of her withdrawal on 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.
The Russian team won the gold medal after she stepped away, and her US teammates took the silver. Though she’ll miss Thursday’s event, Biles is still qualified to participate in next week’s vault, uneven bars, floor exercise and balance beam finals.
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.
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.
Given recent circumstances, it’s unclear whether Biles will compete in her remaining events, but she was previously scheduled to appear in the following:
Withdrawn — Individual all-around final: July 29, 3:50 a.m. PT/6:50 a.m. ET/11: 50 a.m. UK time/ 8:50 p.m. AEST
Vault final: Aug. 1,1 a.m. PT/ 4 a.m. ET/9 a.m. UK time/6 p.m. AEST
Uneven bars final: Aug. 1, 1 a.m. PT/4 a.m. ET/9 a.m. UK time/6 p.m. AEST
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.
What’s at stake
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 contributed to this report.