Will Simone Biles Compete Again? US Gymnastics Says…

Here's everything you need to know about Simone Biles's Tokyo Olympics future.
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Update July 28, 2021

After dropping out from the team final earlier this week, Olympic champion Simone Biles has also decided to drop out of Thursday’s individual all-around competition.

The 24-year-old — who won gold in the individual all-around at the 2016 Olympics — is removing herself in order to focus on her mental health.

“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement.

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”

Another US Gymnast Will Compete In Her Place

Now that Simone will not be competing, her teammate, Jade Carey, will take her place. Jade, who finished ninth in qualifying, will compete alongside fellow USA gymnast Suni Lee.

International Gymnastics Federation only allows two athletes per country to compete in the individual finals.

Are Simone’s Games Finished?

Despite removing herself from the individual competition, there’s still a chance Simone could participate in next week’s individual events. 

In fact, she qualified for the finals in all four apparatuses — bar, beam, vault, and floor — something she didn’t even do in 2016.

Original Story: July 27, 2021

Simone Biles shocked the gymnastics world — and the world at large — when she decided to pull out of the women’s gymnastics team final on Tuesday, July 27.

“It wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it.”

Simone Biles

Following a low-scoring performance on the vault during the first event of the night, the 24-year-old briefly left the competition floor to talk with her trainer. It was then revealed she’d be withdrawing from the competition.

Simone Biles
Shutterstock

*Cue the tears*

Why Did She Pull Out?

After her sudden departure, gymnastics officials said she pulled out due to a “medical issue.”

“Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement. “She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”

But, as the competition continued, it was revealed she actually pulled out due to a “mental issue,” according to the NBC commentators who were covering the event live. 

What Does This Mean for US Medal Chances?

Team USA’s three other gymnasts — Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCollum — continued to compete without Simone and went on to win a silver medal (Russia picked up the gold). 

But, here’s the good news folks. 

BBC commentator John Watson managed to speak with Simone following the competition and she said she’s ok but is “dealing with some things internally that will get fixed in the next few days.”

He also reportedly asked if she’s going to be back for the individual all-around final on Thursday, July 29 in which she said…. 

“YES.” 

Simone Is Open About Her Mental Health

Simone has been open about her mental health issues in the past, especially in regards to being considered the GOAT of gymnastics. 

In fact, she shared an Instagram post discussing the matter following the Olympics preliminary round, in which she had a few uncharacteristic mistakes.

Simone Biles drops out
Shutterstock

“It wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it. I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times,” she shared earlier this week.

“I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but [dang] sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The Olympics is no joke! BUT I’m happy my family was able to be with me virtually. They mean the world to me!”

2020 Is Changing the Way We See Athletes

While Simone’s departure is heartbreaking on a number of levels, it has added another layer to this already very complex summer Olympics. 

In a year where more people are opening up about their mental health struggles and the inequity in sports, Simone has now pushed the conversation forward even further. 

We’re finally addressing how ludicrous it is that women are forced to wear certain outfits while competing while men are not. We’re finally talking about the fact that athletes cannot be expected to be all things at all times.

Simone Biles on beam
Shutterstock

Olympic athletes are professionals, right? They’re human machines! But it’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, they’re human. They have to constantly deal with not only the pressure they put on themselves, but the pressure their country puts on them (whether intentional or not).

Simone Biles is the greatest gymnast the world has ever seen. The world expects nothing less than perfection from her. I don’t care who you are, that’s going to weigh on you.

With tennis star Naomi Osaka opening up about the mental health struggles she’s experienced in her sport earlier this year as well, one can only hope more athletes begin to feel comfortable sharing their truth.

Athletes, they’re just like us.