Simone Biles Withdraws from Vault and Uneven Bars Finals


After exiting the team final and individual all-around final at the Olympics earlier this week, USA Gymnastics has announced she will withdraw from the event finals for the vault and uneven bars at Tokyo.

Simone Biles’ mental health

The six-time Olympic medalist left on Tuesday to focus on mental health after her performance on the vault, where some commentators suggested she got “the twisties.

With Biles out, the remaining U.S. gymnasts — Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum — stepped up to take silver in the team final.

In a series of Instagram Stories Friday, Biles explained she has previously experienced “the twisties,” which usually take about two weeks for her to get over.

Biles emphasized her “mind and body” are out of sync — a “petrifying” experience.

“I don’t think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface,” Biles said. “Nor do I have to explain why I put health first … Physical health is mental health.”

Biles in 2016 Rio Olympics

In 2016, Biles won gold in both the vault and floor exercise, along with a bronze medal in the balance beam (she did not qualify for the uneven bars).

Who will compete instead of Simone Biles for Team USA?

Without Biles in Tokyo’s event finals, the following athletes will take her place:

  • Vault: MyKayla Skinner, an American who was competing as an individual, will get Biles’ spot in the vault final. She had the fourth-best score in qualifying but was denied the opportunity to advance to the eight-woman final because only two athletes from any country are allowed in the final, and Biles and Jade Carey both finished ahead of her.
  • Uneven bars: Melanie de Jesus Dos Santos of France will replace Biles. Two Russians scored higher than she did but cannot advance because two of their teammates qualified ahead of them.

Remaining women’s gymnastics events in Tokyo Olympics

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