Simone Biles shocked the world when she decided to pull out of the team event finals at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday but has since told reporters that she could be back for the individual all-around competition this Thursday.
During the team finals, the 24-year-old gymnast left the competition floor after performing an uncharacteristically faulty vault and was seen by Team USA’s medical trainer, according to People. USA Gymnastics released a statement saying that Biles had withdrawn “due to a medical issue” and Biles’ coach told NBC, “Physically she is fine. But she is done for the night.”
Biles then stayed to cheer on her teammates Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum for the rest of the competition. Ultimately, the U.S. women’s team took home silver, while the Russian Olympic Committee took gold.
After team finals, Biles spoke with reporters, saying she was “dealing with things internally that will get fixed in the next few days,” according to BBC Sport. Callie Caplan, a reporter for Dallas Morning News, tweeted that Biles said she decided to “take a backseat” on Tuesday to “work on my mindfulness” and that she would take a break and then decide whether to compete in the all-around. If Biles does compete and takes home gold, she’ll be the first woman in more than 50 years to win the all-around in back-to-back Games.
Biles also qualified to compete in four other events during this year’s Games: the uneven bars, vault, beam, and floor exercise, all of which will take place next week. Biles is the reigning gold medalist on the vault and floor and could make history at the Tokyo Games by performing her incredible Yurchenko double pike vault. If she did so successfully, it would become the fifth skill named after her, according to the Washington Post.
While it remains uncertain if Biles will choose to perform in all of the events she qualified for, one thing is still abundantly clear: With or without the 2020 team gold medal, Simone Biles is still the greatest gymnast of all time.
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