Simone Biles Withdraws From Individual Vault and Uneven Bars Competition

Simone Biles Withdraws From Individual Vault and Uneven Bars Competition

Whether she will compete for floor exercise and balance beam are still in consideration, US Gymnastics medical staff says

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Simone Biles will not be competing in the finals of the individual vault and uneven bars events in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Sunday, the USA Gymnastics medical said in a statement Saturday.

“Today, after further consultation with medical staff, Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the event finals for vault and the uneven bars,” the statement reads. “She will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor and balance beam. MyKayla Skinner, who had the fourth highest score in vault during qualifications, will compete in vault finals for the U.S. alongside Jade Carey, who with the second highest score.”

Biles withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics team gymnastics final Tuesday and bowed out of the individual all-around competition on Wednesday.

Biles has said she was experiencing a mental state known in the gymnastics world as “the twisties,” which she first noticed during practice sessions. Robert Andrews, a mental health expert who worked with Biles from 2013-2017, said he approved of her decision and explained to NBC what the mental block was like.

“The twisties… it’s a symptom of the brain being overwhelmed with too much stress, pressure, and anxiety,” Andrews told CNBC. “In essence, the brain is saying it’s not safe enough for you to do these incredibly difficult skills, and if you do, you’re at serious risk of injuring yourself, so she is wise to listen to her brain and her body.”

Support about her decisions over the last week has poured in from her fellow athletes and fans alike. One Olympic enthusiast forwarded a poll taken among co-competitors in Tokyo that showed it considered Biles their hero, which she has received with great gratitude.

On Wednesday, Biles, believed by most to be the greatest gymnast of all time, tweeted, “The outpouring love and support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishment and gymnastics which I never truly believed before.”


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