Updated Jul 27, 2021 - Sports

Simone Biles pulls out of team finals to focus on mental health

Picture of Simone Biles

Photo: Tom Weller/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles pulled out of the women's gymnastics team finals on Tuesday to prioritize her mental health and well-being.

The latest: "At the end of the day, I have to do what's right for me and focus on my mental health, and not jeopardize my health and well-being," Biles told reporters in Tokyo. "That's why I decided to kind of take a step back and let them do their work, and they did it."

  • Biles said she's unsure whether she will compete Thursday in the individual all-around competition. "We're going to take it a day at a time. We have a little bit of a break for training, so that will be really nice to have a mental rest day."

What she's saying: "It's been really stressful this Olympic Games, just as a whole not having an audience, there are a lot of different variables going into it, ... I think we're just a little bit too stressed out, but we should be out here having fun and sometimes that's not the case," Biles said.

  • "Gymnastics isn't everything at the end of the day. There's still more to life than gymnastics so I'm not too worried about what happened," Biles said, per reporters in Tokyo. "I'm just trying to gear up for the next couple of days ahead."

State of play: Russian gymnasts, competing under the Russian Olympic Committee flag due to a doping ban, won the gold medal after Biles' withdrawal. Team USA won silver and Britain won bronze.

  • Biles left the competition area with a medical examiner after one rotation on the vault in which she faltered badly. Biles was replaced by Jordan Chiles and returned to the floor to cheer on her teammates.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Jeff Tracy: When Kerri Strug missed most of her Olympic program in 1996 after injuring her ankle, no one questioned why. If Biles remains out of these Olympics, her supremely talented teammates will still have plenty of individual events to compete in for gold.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details and quotes from Biles.

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