Defending Olympic champion Simone Biles will not be defending her All-Around title because she’s officially withdrawn from Thursday’s competition.
The superstar gymnast withdrew from the upcoming all-around competition to focus on her mental well-being.
This comes only a day after she removed herself from the team final, where she also cited mental health as the reason for the decision following the competition. The United States ended up with the silver medal.
The USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Wednesday she is opting to not compete and they, “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.”
The statement said Biles will be evaluated before deciding if she will participate in next week’s individual events, where she qualified for the final in four other events. Considered one of the faces of the Games n Tokyo, the amount of pressure on her shoulders is heavy. She even posted on social media Monday that “she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders.”
Following Tuesdays ceremony, she told reporters, “Once I came out here, I was like, ‘No, mental is not there, so I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself.'”
The 24-year-old Texas native will be replaced by Jade Carey, who finished ninth in qualifying. According to ESPN, “the 21-year-old from Phoenix spent two years traveling the globe in an effort to pile up enough points on the World Cup circuit to earn an individual nominative spot, meaning she would be in the Olympics but technically not be part of the four-woman U.S. team. Now she finds her self on the biggest stage in the world, while also trying to replace one of the greatest athletes of all time in the sport.
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