Simone Biles: Gymnast Says Mental Health Issues Behind Tokyo Olympics Team Final Withdrawal As She Admits “I Just Didn’t Want To Continue”

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Simone Biles: Gymnast Says Mental Health Issues Behind Tokyo Olympics Team Final Withdrawal As She Admits “I Just Didn’t Want To Continue”


Simone Biles said mental health issues were behind her shocking withdrawal from the team gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics, as she admitted: “I just didn’t want to continue.”

Biles, the American superstar who some consider the greatest female gymnast of all time, was aiming for six gold medals for the competition but withdrew from her first final after a disappointing start.

Without it, the US team finished second behind the Russian Olympic Committee.

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Biles looked distraught after retiring from the women’s team final. Photo: United States Today
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Biles made a mistake when she took a big step forward on the landing after completing the jump. Photo: AP

Initially, the reason given by the team leaders for his withdrawal was a “Medical problem”.

But, speaking to reporters, Biles, who won four gold and one bronze at Rio 2016, said: “After the performance I put in, I just didn’t want to continue. “

She was not injured, she said, but had suffered “just a little injury to my pride.”

“I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sport right now… we need to protect our mind and body and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.

“I don’t trust myself so much… maybe it’s getting old.” There were a few days where everyone was tweeting you and you were feeling the weight of the world.

“We’re not just athletes, we’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just need to take a step back. “

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Biles in mid-flight during his disastrous performance on the jump. Photo: AP

Particularly difficult was the feeling that she was no longer doing gymnastics for herself, but for the rest of the world.

“It just sucks when you fight with your own head. You want to do it for yourself but you are just too worried about what everyone is going to say, think, the internet, ”she said.

To Olympic Games is far from over, with her next competition scheduled in the women’s all-around final in two days. Apparatus competitions also remain.

“We’ll see around Thursday,” she said, echoing the team’s statement that she “will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”

Biles, who held back tears at one point, added: “We’re going to take it one day at a time and see what happens. I’m just trying to prepare for the next test. I tried to go during the shift and they stepped up to the plate. “

She admitted to feeling conflicted, adding, “It’s like fighting all these demons and coming out here. I have to put my pride aside. I have to do it for the team.

Simone Biles chats with her US teammates in the final
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Simone Biles chats with her US teammates in the final

“And then at the end of the day it’s like ‘you know what, I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my sanity and not jeopardize my health and well-being’” .

Biles kept open the possibility of continuing to compete in Tokyo, but said she would take it one day at a time.

She admitted regretting not being able to get the chance to win the six gold medals she was aiming for in Japan, which would have brought her total to 10.

“It’s very unfortunate that it has to happen at this point because I really wanted these Olympics to go a little better. But again, take it one day at a time. We’ll see how the rest goes. “

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The record american athlete had a difficult start in the final, where the we was looking to get a third straight olympique Title.

The 24-year-old hopped onto her planned Amanar safe, opting for an easier vault in the air, then struggled to land.

The rare misstep allowed the gymnasts from Russia to open up a one point lead after the first rotation and they continued to win.

Medal ranking Tuesday
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Medal ranking Tuesday

After snuggling up with her coach, she left the competition field with the team doctor before returning a few minutes later with her right leg rolled up.

The GB team won a historic bronze after having edged Italy in the last rotation.

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