Simone Biles Pulls Out of the Gymnastics Team Final at the 2021 Olympics Citing Her Mental Health

This Olympic Games I wanted it to be for myself. I came in and felt like I was still doing it for other people.”

Update 11:13 a.m.: After the shocking announcement that Simone Biles pulled out of the gymnastics team final at the Olympics 2021, Biles spoke out about her decision. “I'm just dealing with things internally that will get fixed in the next couple of days,” BBC News reported.

"After the performance that I did, I didn’t want to go into any of the other events second guessing myself, so I thought it was better if I took a step back and let these girls go out there and do the job and they did just that," Biles said, per USA Today.

She also spoke to the role of therapy. “Therapy has helped a lot as well as medicine,” Biles said. "Whenever you get in high-stress situations, you kind of freak out and don’t know really know how to handle all of those emotions especially at the Olympic Games."

Biles spoke out about her mental health and dealing with the immense pressure that comes with being the G.O.A.T. after the gymnastics qualifying  round on Sunday. She became the first gymnast since 1992 to qualify for all six women's events—the team final, as well as the four individual apparatus finals—despite the fact that it was an off day for her. “It wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it,” she wrote on Instagram. “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The olympics is no joke!”

Following her withdrawal, Biles shared the motivation behind her decision to “focus on [her] wellbeing. There's more to life than gymnastics," she said.

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“This Olympic Games I wanted it to be for myself. I came in and felt like I was still doing it for other people,” she said. "That just hurts my heart that doing what I love has been kind of taken away from me to please other people." 

As to whether she will be back to compete in the all-around final on Thursday, Biles said in a press conference that she is taking it “day by day.” 

The reactions to Biles' decision to step back point out the powerful double standards faced by women—and particularly women of color. 

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Biles is also being praised for having the strength and leadership to prioritize her mental health in the face of such high expectations. 

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Original post: 

Simone Biles has pulled out of the gymnastics team final at the Olympics 2021 for a “medical issue,” the Today show reported on Tuesday, July 27. 

USA Gymnastics says Biles will be assessed daily to determine whether she's fit for future events at the Tokyo Games. Team USA ultimately finished in second, with the Russian Olympic Committee taking home gold in the team finals. 

According to The New York Times, Biles “faltered” on the vault, doing a Yurchenko with one and a half twists as opposed to the planned two and a half twists. She also “stumbled” out of the landing. 

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The rest of the gymnastics team will continue to compete at the Olympics 2021 without Biles, of course hoping she'll join for individual events later in the Games. 

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Simone Biles took to Instagram a few days ago to talk Olympics pressure. “It wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it,” she wrote. “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn 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!”

Aly Raisman, who competed in U.S. gymnastics at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, talked to Today about Biles's situation. “I'm just completely devastated, obviously so worried, and just hoping Simone is okay,” she said. “I'm also just thinking about the mental impact this has to have on Simone. It's so much pressure. I've been watching how much pressure's been on her in the months leading up to the Games.”

Support for Biles is pouring in. “Sending #SimoneBiles lots of love,” one person tweeted. “I hope she feels all of us supporting her from afar. We will never understand the level of pressure she’s been under the last 5 years."

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This story originally appeared on: Glamour - Author:Condé Nast

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