Simone Biles withdraws from Olympics all-around gymnastics: Official
Defending champion Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final of the Olympic individual all-around gymnastics competition due to ongoing concerns over her mental health, USA Gymnastics confirmed on Wednesday.
TOKYO: Defending champion Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final of the Olympic individual all-around gymnastics competition due to ongoing concerns over her mental health, USA Gymnastics confirmed on Wednesday (Jul 28).
"After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health," USA Gymnastics said in a statement.
The US federation said a decision on whether Biles would compete in individual event finals would be taken following daily evaluation.
"Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week's individual event finals," USAG added.
Jade Carey will replace Biles in the all-around final.
"We wholeheartedly support Simone's decision and applaud her bravery in prioritising her well-being," the statement said.
"Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many."
Biles' decision to pull out of the all-around comes after her stunning withdrawal early in Tuesday's team final in Tokyo.
The 24-year-old superstar - one of the faces of the Olympics - abruptly scratched from the competition after one rotation citing mental health concerns.
Olympians past and present flooded the US gymnast with messages of support as the mental health of athletes - and the extra pressures brought by the COVID-10 pandemic - were in sharp focus at the Games.
"The advice I would give is to reach out, to colleagues and friends," said Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics. "Don't be afraid to show vulnerability, it's a badge of honour in a way to want that help."
The International Olympic Committee admitted "more could be done" around athlete mental health. IOC spokesman Mark Adams said it was a matter the organisation had been working on for some time.
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