The U.S. gymnastics team took silver in the women’s team event Tuesday after Simone Biles withdrew from the competition due to a “medical issue.” The Russian Olympic Committee team took the gold, and Great Britain squeaked by Italy for the bronze.
*Simone Biles, considered the greatest gymnast of all time, is out of the team competition in women’s gymnastics.
USA Gymnastics said in a statement: “Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
Meanwhile, NBC broadcast a conflicting report that Biles being pulled out was related to a “mental issue” that she is having and not injury related.
Simone Biles update:
While Team USA did not immediately explain why Biles was pulled, NBC’s John Roethlisberger relayed: “We’ve just been told that, with regards to Simone withdrawing, it is not injury-related. It is a mental issue that Simone is having.”https://t.co/be9LZmWgn7
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) July 27, 2021
Biles left the competition floor moments after she struggled to land a vault that is usually pretty easy for her. On the team’s first event, she bailed on an Amanar – one of her more difficult vaults – and just barely landed a one-and-a-half.
Simone Biles Vault (Team Finale) pic.twitter.com/l3ZWJIdyoW
— Shit Gymnasts Say (@shitgymnastsay) July 27, 2021
Visibly upset, Biles talked with one of her personal coaches and the team doctor, then put on her grips to prepare for uneven bars next. But suddenly, she left the competition floor. When she returned, she took off her grips and put on her warm-ups.
In team finals, countries compete with three gymnasts and count all three scores, but have flexibility of who competes on each apparatus with four women on each team. Biles’ exit means it’s up to the team’s three remaining gymnasts – Grace McCallum, Jordan Chiles and Sunisa Lee.
Retired American artistic gymnast MyKayla Skinner tells TODAY of Biles’ withdrawal, “My heart broke for her; I can’t imagine what she’s going through.” Skinner adds, “I don’t really know what happened … I’m not sure if she hurt something recently.”