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Simone Biles Withdraws From Additional Tokyo Olympics Events

Teen Vogue logo Teen Vogue 7/31/2021 Lauren Rearick
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After previously withdrawing from the team gymnastics final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles will no longer compete in two additional final events, CNN reports. In a statement shared on social media, USA Gymnastics announced that Biles had withdrawn from the event finals for vault and uneven bars.

The statement, shared on Friday evening, said that the decision was made following “further consultation with the medical staff.” Biles is still scheduled to compete in two more events, The Guardian points out, but the statement from USA Gymnastics makes clear that she will be evaluated daily. CNN reports that MyKala Skinner will serve as a replacement for the vault finals.

Biles previously pulled out of the team and and individual all-around gymnastics finals, The New York Times reported. She had addressed the decision in an interview, saying, “Whenever you get in a high-stress situation, you kind of freak out. I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being.”

In an additional interview, Biles said that she was struggling with “the twisties." As explained by the Washington Post, the condition is common in gymnastics and results when a gymnast can't control how their body will land, despite knowing or practicing a move. “I had no idea where I was in the air,” Biles said of her experience. “I could have hurt myself.”

Her previous decision to withdraw was met with support by many, including Aly Raisman. “I'm obviously so worried and just hoping that Simone is OK. I also am thinking about the mental impact that this has to have on Simone. It's just so much pressure,” she said.

Jordan Chiles, a current member of the U.S. gymnastics team also defended Biles, saying, “She's Simone for a reason,” said Chiles. “She's not a quitter. You will never see Simone just go out there and not do what she knows she can do.”

Via her Instagram, Biles thanked supporters, writing, “The outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before.” She had also addressed how it felt competing, writing, “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but d*mn sometimes it’s hard.”

Biles is frequently celebrated for her abilities and wins as a gymnast. Participating in the Olympics for the first time in 2016, Biles secured four gold medals and one bronze.  

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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Simone Biles Pulled Out of the Team Gymnastics Final to Focus on Her Mental Health


Video: Simone Biles: We should be out here having fun, and sometimes that’s not the case (Yahoo! Sports)

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