Simone Biles, who stunned the Olympic world Tuesday when she pulled out of the U.S. group tumbling finals, said the emotional toll of the Tokyo Games, not an physical injury, provoked her withdrawal.
“Physically, I feel good. I’m in shape,” she told Hoda Kotb on NBC’s “TODAY” show following her exit. “Emotionally, it varies on the time and moment. Coming to the Olympics and being head star isn’t an easy feat.”
She disclosed further to NBC’s Andrea Joyce that her battle was “more mental, and we’re just dealing with a couple of things internally.”
In any case, “the girls did well. They stepped up when they needed to,” she said.
After Biles’ takeoff, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team won silver.
“OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALISTS 🤍 I’m SO proud of these girls right here. You girls are incredibly brave & talented! I’ll forever be inspired by your determination to not give up and to fight through adversity! They stepped up when I couldn’t. thanks for being there for me and having my back! forever love y’all,” Biles later wrote in an Instagram post.
The Russian Olympic Committee won gold and the British group won bronze. The U.S. was expecting to secure its third straight title with a solid group, with Biles leading.
“I’m OK,” she told Kotb. “Just super frustrated. But super proud of these girls and now we’re silver medalists — something we’ll cherish forever. We hope America still loves us.”
An assertion from USA Gymnastics initially said the 24-year-old athlete pulled out because of a medical issue.
“She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” officials said in the statement.
Biles’ mentor later revealed to NBC that “physically she is fine. But she is done for the night.”
However unsteady on some by all accounts, Biles had qualified for all finals and was relied upon to proceed to contend in singular for what it’s worth, floor work out, pillar, lopsided bars and vault.
Kotb inquired as to whether watchers can hope to see her in Thursday’s individual all-around rivalry, where she is the reigning champ.
“We will take it step by step, and we’re simply going to see,” she said.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist contended in Team USA’s first pivot on vault Tuesday, rescuing of her Amanar and just finishing a 1.5 curve on a 2.5-winding Yurchenko, then, at that point taking a major stagger on the arrival.
She then, at that point huddled with a mentor and left the floor with the team doctor.
Biles scored a 13.766. An Amanar can score a limit of 15.8. In capabilities, Biles scored a 15.183 on vault.
She then, at that point was required to contend on the lopsided bars, however Jordan Chiles was subbed in.
Biles got back to the floor with her team, in a sweatsuit, to root for them in excess turns from the sidelines.
She disclosed to Kotb that her partners, Chiles, Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum, “were freaking out” when she revealed to them she planned to pass on the remainder of the final.
“They were like crying,” she said. “And I was like, ‘You guys need to relax. You’re going to be fine without me. Go out there, you kick some butt just like you’ve done in training and just lay it out on the floor.'”
Kotb brought up that she basically ventured into an coaching role.
“I kind of like that a little bit more. I think I’m going to stay with that now,” Biles joked.
On Monday, she shared on Instagram that she felt contending in the preliminaries “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. 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!” she wrote.
Biles won five medals in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and gets an opportunity to win six at these games. She isn’t just the star of the ladies’ aerobatic group, yet in addition apparently the greatest name in Team USA.
Aly Raisman, a previous Team USA athlete who won three Olympic gold medals, said on “TODAY” that she felt “sick to her stomach” about Biles’ exit.
“I think that Simone is the biggest story going into the Olympics, so this is just, it’s really, really devastating,” she said. “But I think it’s also just really important to think about how much pressure has been on her, and there’s only so much that someone can take. You know, she’s human, and I think sometimes people forget that. And Simone, just like everyone else, is doing the best that she can.”
NBC Olympics ideal time have Mike Tirico said Biles’ flight was “certainly as odd a turn I think as anyone expected.”
“It was a bizarre twist to say the least,” he said. But Tirico also noted that for Biles, “internally, externally, there was a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations, and sometimes it’s hard to deliver when that’s the case.”
“We can’t imagine what kind of pressure” she’s under, he said.
Tirico praised Biles’ partners, who “with no margin for error, were able to win the silver, which is a great effort on their part.”
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