Simone Biles Withdraws From Another Olympic Final as Comeback Hopes Wane

After withdrawing from four 2020 Tokyo Olympic events amid mental health concerns, Simone Biles withdrew from another final, leaving just one up in the air.

By Corinne Heller Aug 01, 2021 3:12 PMTags
Watch: Simone Biles Explains Olympics Withdrawal: "I Didn't Quit"

Hopes for a minor comeback for Simone Biles was dashed even further when the star gymnast pulled out of another final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, leaving only one up in the air.

USA Gymnastics announced on Twitter on Saturday, July 31, that the 24-year-old athlete has withdrawn from the floor exercise final that takes place Monday, Aug. 2. Simone, one of the greatest gymnasts of all time, had already withdrawn from four previous finals, citing mental health concerns and a case of the "twisties," or mid-air disorientation that gymnasts occasionally suffer.

USA Gymnastics said in its tweet that later this week, the athlete will make a decision if to compete in the balance beam final, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 3. The group added, "Either way, we're all behind you, Simone."

Simone, who won four gold individual medals, plus a bronze for beam, at the 2016 Rio Olympics, arrived in Tokyo earlier this month hoping to win six gold medals, including five individual ones, to become the most successful female Olympian of all-time across every sport.

Simone Biles' 2020 Tokyo Olympics Journey

Simone had taken part in one of the events from which she withdrew, for part of it. Last week, she exited the women's team final after one rotation and a disappointing performance on the vault, but still helped Team USA win the silver medal.

Simone later said on her Instagram Story the twisties "randomly started happening" the morning after the preliminary competition and that by then, an alternate was not allowed to replace her. "I chose to not continue team competition in jeopardizing losing a medal (of any color) for the girls....also for my own safety and health."

"For anyone saying I quit. I didn't quit, my mind & body are simply not in sync," Simone wrote. "I don't think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface nor do I have to explain why I put health first."

She continued, "I didn't have a bad performance & quit. I've had plenty of bad performances throughout my career and finished the competition. I simply got so lost my safety was at risk as well as a team medal. therefore the girls stepped up and killed the rest of the competition & won silver...QUEENS!!!!!"

Gregory Bull/AP/Shutterstock

After the team competition, Simone withdrew from the individual all-around final, while her teammate and first-time Olympian, Sunisa "Suni" Lee, 18, won her first Olympic gold medal in the event. Simone and the rest of Team USA cheered her on from the sidelines.

Simone later withdrew from the vault and uneven bars finals, which took place Sunday, Aug. 1. Suni took home the bronze in the latter event. MyKayla Skinner, a 24-year-old first-time Olympian competing as an individual and who previously failed to qualify for the finals replaced Simone in the vault final and went on to win her first Olympic medal, the silver. Simone cheered on her teammates and paid special tribute to MyKayla on social media.

"GO @mykaylaskinner2016," she wrote on her Instagram Story. "I'm so freaking proud of you." 

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