Trouble in Tokyo. Athletes and celebrities are speaking out after Simone Biles withdrew from the gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, July 27.
USA Gymnastics confirmed in a statement that the 24-year-old gold medalist opted not to compete with Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum on Tuesday, with Jordan Chiles taking her place on the uneven bars. Team USA subsequently took home the silver, with Russia securing the gold.
“Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue,” the statement read. “She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
While Biles has yet to publicly comment on her sudden departure, she was spotted cheering on her teammates in warm-up gear during the event. John Roethlisberger later told NBC News, “We’ve just been told that, with regards to Simone withdrawing, it is not injury-related. It is a mental issue that Simone is having.”
Aly Raisman, who competed with Biles at the 2016 Rio Olympics, told the Today show she feels “sick to her stomach” about the situation.
“It’s horrible,” Raisman said on Tuesday. “I know that all of these athletes dream of this moment for their whole entire lives, and so I’m just completely devastated. I am obviously so worried and just hoping that Simone is OK.”
The Fierce author added, “I also am just thinking about the mental impact that this has to have on Simone. It’s just so much pressure, and I’ve been watching how much pressure has been on her in the months leading up to the Games, and it’s just devastating. I feel horrible.”
Raisman’s concerns about Biles come after her candid post about the Olympics being “no joke” ahead of the team final.
“It wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it. I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times,” she wrote on Monday, July 26, via Instagram. “I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The olympics is no joke! BUT I’m happy my family was able to be with me virtually🤍 they mean the world to me!”
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