On Tuesday morning, the United States women’s gymnastics team earned a silver medal in the team competition, which in a vacuum would’ve been a bit of a disappointment, but given the circumstances of Tuesday’s event was an impressive display because they did it without Simone Biles for three of the four rotations.
Biles withdrew herself from the competition after the first rotation where she barely was able to get her vault to her feet, saying after that she just didn’t have it mentally on Tuesday and needed to take a “back seat” in order to not hurt the team in the competition (or herself, physically). What followed was some loud idiots questioning her toughness, while the majority of fans offered support and love to Biles for showing the strength to know she didn’t have it and take the necessary steps to help herself and help the team.
Her post-competition press conference was powerful, as she spoke about the anxiety and stress she felt and how it was unlike anything she’d dealt with before at a competition. After her first vault she realized this was much more than nerves and she was going to put her health and the team’s success at risk and took herself out, but not before offering some powerful words of encouragement to her team before cheering them on from the sidelines.
Biles was non-committal about the individual portions of the competition still to come, saying she hoped to compete but would have to monitor where she was at, and word emerged on Wednesday morning that she would not compete in the Individual All-Around on Thursday to continue focusing on her mental health, as announced in a USA Gymnastics release that was incredibly supportive of Biles.
After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition. 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. pic.twitter.com/6ILdtSQF7o
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) July 28, 2021
A decision on the individual apparatus competitions next week will be determined later, but whatever she does will have the full support of USA Gymnastics as well as her fans worldwide. Biles speaking on what she went through wasn’t necessary but it was incredibly strong and will help many others who have dealt with issues of anxiety that can have debilitating effects and show that it can happen to anyone at any time and the right course of action is to address it and do what is needed, even if that’s an incredibly difficult thing to do like withdrawing from Olympic competition.