Simone Biles Cites Emotional Toll of Being ‘Head Star’ in Decision to Withdraw from Olympic Gymnastics Competition

Simone Biles
AP Photo/Jamie Squire

Simone Biles says that her unexpected withdrawal from the Olympics gymnastics competition on Tuesday wasn’t injury-related. Instead, she says she withdrew due to the emotional stress of being the “head star” of the Olympics.

“Physically, I feel good. I’m in shape,” Biles told NBC. “Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment. Coming to the Olympics and being head star isn’t an easy feat, so we’re just trying to take it one day at a time and we’ll see.

“I’m OK, just super frustrated of how the night, but super proud of these girls and now we’re silver medalists. Something we’ll cherish forever. We hope America still loves us.”

Simone Biles

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

Biles shockingly withdrew from the competition while battling the Russians for gold on Tuesday. First, she hit an awkward landing following an incomplete routine on the vault. Then, soon after that and a discussion with her coaches, it was announced that she would not continue.

“She attempted an Amanar vault during warmups only to roll out of it upon landing,” the Associated Press reported. “The code for that vault posted when she saluted the judges, but in midair things went awry.

“The vault requires a roundoff back handspring onto the table followed by 2 1/2 twists. Biles instead did just 1 1/2 twists with a big leap forward after landing. She sat down and talked to U.S. team doctor Marcia Faustin, then headed to the back while her teammates moved on to uneven bars without her.”

Simone Biles

The Associated Press

While Biles has qualified to compete in all-around gymnastics competitions beginning on Thursday, she did not say that she intended to participate in those events.

We’re gonna take it day by day, and we’re just gonna see,” she said.


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