Simone Biles Pulls Out of Floor Exercise Event Final at Tokyo Olympics
03:10 GMT 01.08.2021 (Updated: 03:37 GMT 01.08.2021)
© REUTERS / LINDSEY WASSONTokyo 2020 Olympics - Gymnastics - Artistic - Women's Individual All-Around - Final - Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan - July 29, 2021. Simone Biles of the United States puts on a protective face mask.
© REUTERS / LINDSEY WASSON
After making a mistake in the first exercise in the team all-around, US gymnast Simone Biles refused to compete in several events, citing her psychological state and thus highlighting the issue of athlete mental health at the Tokyo Olympics.
USA Gymnastics revealed on Saturday that Simone Biles had withdrawn from the event final for floor exercise and is still to make a decision on her participation in the balance beam competitions.
"Either way, we’re all behind you, Simone", the body noted in its Twitter statement.
This is another withdrawal for the decorated athlete, who earlier revealed she would not participate in the woman's gymnastics event finals for vault and the uneven bars.
Simone has withdrawn from the event final for floor and will make a decision on beam later this week. Either way, we’re all behind you, Simone.— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) August 1, 2021
Biles cited mental health issues as the reason for her withdrawals. Initially, she made an uncharacteristic mistake in the first exercise in the team all-around - an incident that appeared to have triggered her decision to avoid participating in several additional Olympic events.
She explained that she felt she was better off taking "a back seat, work[ing] on my mindfulness". Her move drew new attention to the pressure faced by top-ranking athletes at major sports events like the Olympics.
Biles is the most decorated American gymnast, holding a combined total of 31 Olympic and World Championship medals.