Gymnast Jordan Chiles Says Media Reacted to Simone Biles' Olympics Withdrawal "The Wrong Way"

In a Peace of Mind with Taraji clip exclusive to E! News, gymnast Jordan Chiles said she still gets emotional over "how the media perceived" Simone Biles' Olympics withdrawal.

By Ryan Gajewski Nov 04, 2021 7:00 PMTags
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Olympic gymnast Jordan Chiles still has trouble balancing her array of feelings surrounding the unexpected twists of the 2020 Tokyo Games.

As seen in a preview clip exclusive to E! News, the 20-year-old member of the U.S. women's national gymnastics team is a guest on Facebook Watch's talk show Peace of Mind With Taraji on Monday, Nov. 8. During the visit, Jordan told co-hosts Taraji P. Henson and Tracie Jade about finding out that she would step in for Simone Biles after the superstar withdrew midway through the gymnastics team final in July. 

"There was a lot," Jordan said candidly about her mindset over replacing her close friend on the uneven bars and balance beam. "There was emotions, there was excitement, there was frustration, there was devastation."

The athlete went on to say she didn't appreciate how the media "perceived" Simone's decision to take a break from competition amid her mental health struggles. Jordan and her teammates earned a silver medal in the team final, and Simone sat out all subsequent competition until her return for the balance beam final, earning bronze.

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"Still to this day, I get sometimes emotional about it because what she went through and then how the media perceived it, is just 100 percent the wrong way," Jordan continued, without getting into details. "It was just very devastating. But I had to put that back because I knew I still had to compete and do this for her because she's my friend—she's literally my ride or die. I will do anything for her."

When asked for her exact thoughts at the moment she was told she would step in for Simone, Jordan recalled, "I didn't believe it." 

During an exclusive interview with E! News' Daily Pop in August, Jordan reflected on how she offered Simone support at the Olympics. "However she was feeling that day, I was like, 'OK, I give you my love. You can receive it,'" Jordan shared back then. "I just try to support her in different ways."

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Simone, who has returned to the sport in the still-ongoing Gold Over America tour, told Today's Hoda Kotb last month that she feels "a lot better" now and has been going to therapy but is "still scared to do gymnastics."

Peace of Mind With Taraji launches new episodes Mondays at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on Facebook Watch. 

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