Simone Biles exits Olympic team competition due to mental health issues
Written by laserteam on July 27, 2021
(Yahoo Sports) – Simone Biles was pulled from the team competition here Tuesday after an awkward, low-scoring attempt on vault, leaving the United States without its biggest star in what ultimately proved to be a silver-medal finish behind Russia’s gold.
Biles bailed out on her expected vault, attempting just a Yurchenko 1.5. She still needed a massive bounce/stumble upon landing.
Biles later said that she was dealing with a number of mental health issues, including an intense pressure to achieve perfection and fear of how she would be judged by the public at large.
When she couldn’t complete the Yurchenko 2.5, she realized she would only hurt the team by continuing to compete and that wasn’t fair to the others.
“I’m not in the right headspace,” Biles said. “I’m not going to lose a medal for this country and for these girls. They worked too hard … it’s not worth it, especially when you have three amazing athletes who can step up.”
Biles said that she would be working on her mental health the next few days and hoped to still be able to complete in the all-around competition on Thursday and in the four individual event finals in which she qualified.
Her coach said that she would be getting professional help first thing Wednesday morning here in Japan.
“I’m going to focus on my well-being,” Biles said. “I am more than just a gymnast.”