U.S. gymnast Simone Biles has withdrawn from the individual all-around final competition at the Tokyo Olympics, a day after she pulled out of the women’s gymnastics team final.
The 24-year-old decided to withdraw from the event to focus on her mental health, USA Gymnastics said in a statement Wednesday. The national governing body said that she would be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals.
Jade Carey will replace Biles in the all-around event on Thursday.
“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being,” the statement said. “Her courages shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”
Speaking on Tuesday following her decision to withdraw from the women’s team final, Biles explained that she was not injured but had made the decision to “protect” her mental health.
After her opening vault – which scored 13.766, the lowest mark of the first rotation – Biles huddled with a trainer then exited the competition floor with the team doctor.
She returned several minutes later with her right leg wrapped, before taking off her bar grips, hugging team-mates Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee and Jordan Chiles and putting on a jacket and sweatpants.
The Americans finished second to claim silver – with Biles also earning a medal – behind the Russian Olympic Committee team who won gold, with Great Britain taking bronze.
Asked if she was physically hurt, Biles said: “No. Just a little injury to my pride.
“After the performance I did, I just didn’t want to go on. I have to focus on my mental health.
Biles is the most successful US gymnast of all time and won four gold medals and a bronze at the 2016 Games.
She arrived in Tokyo as one of the biggest stars of the Games but struggled, at least by her high standards, during qualifying.
In a social media post on Monday, she said she felt like she had “the weight of the world” on her shoulders and she was finding it “hard” to deal with the pressure of the Olympics.
The 30-time Olympic and World Championship medallist required four podium finishes in Tokyo to become the most decorated gymnast in history, with the first of those now achieved despite her limited participation.