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Gymnastics

Tokyo Olympics: USA Gymnast Simone Biles withdraws citing 'mental health' concerns from team final

While there were a lot of speculations earlier as to why Biles decided to withdraw, the gymnast has now herself confirmed that it was issues pertaining to her mental health.

Simone Biles at the Tokyo Olympics
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Simone Biles at the Tokyo Olympics (Source: Bleacher Report)

By

Abhijit Nair

Updated: 2021-07-27T21:20:04+05:30

In an interesting turn of events, the star gymnast from the USA, Simone Biles, has withdrawn from the team finals at the Tokyo Olympics citing 'mental health' concerns.

While there were a lot of speculations earlier as to why Biles decided to withdraw from the event, the gymnast has now herself confirmed that it was indeed issues pertaining to her mental health which forced her to withdraw.

"I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now ... we have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do," she said in a press conference.

It was at first reported that Biles had withdrawn due to some injuries but the comments from the USA Team coach via NBC Broadcast just minutes later suggested that it was indeed a 'mental health' issue and not any physical injury.

But, the USA Gymnastics had then maintained that it was a 'medical issue' in its official statement.

Now with Biles herself confirming the reason behind her withdrawal, all the speculations have been put to rest.

The talks about mental health in sports have been gaining steam over the past couple of years. The 24-year-old gymnast now joins the likes of tennis star Naomi Osaka and others, who have been vocal about the need to maintain one's mental health.

Simone Biles' Instagram post yesterday did indicate her going through some extra pressure of performing at the Olympics.


However, Biles' withdrawal mid-way through the final of Women's Team event affected the USA badly. The Amercian girls had to settle for the silver in the event with a final score of 166.096 in her absence.

ROC took home the yellow metal with 169.528 and Great Britain clinched the bronze with 164.096 to round off the podium in Tokyo.


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