Simone Biles on Olympics withdrawal: ‘Didn’t want to risk team medal for my screw-ups’

The gymnastics legend opened up to reporters after her shocking withdrawal on Tuesday morning, saying she chose to protect her "body and mind"

Simone Biles is a true leader. The Olympic star has opened up about her big withdrawal on Tuesday morning, saying that she “didn’t want to risk a team medal” for her “screw-ups.”

As TheGrio previously reported, Biles withdrew from the Olympics this morning due to a reported medical issue. During the vault, Biles reportedly huddled with her trainer before exiting the competition entirely with a team doctor. Minutes later, the gymnastics legend returned and hugged her teammates before changing into sweats and her jacket, with Jordan Chiles stepping in for uneven bars and balance beam.

Now, hours after the shocking moment, Biles has opened up about what led to her decision to withdraw, confirming it was her mental health.

Simone Biles
Simone Biles of Team United States reacts during the Women’s Team Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

In the official press conference, Biles spoke to reporters about her mental health, being inspired by Naomi Osaka, and more. Explaining how she chose to protect her “body and mind”, the Olympian explained, “Whenever you get in a high stress situation, you kind of freak out…I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being.”

She shared, “I felt like it would be better to take a back seat… I didn’t want to risk the team a medal because they worked way too hard for my screw ups.”

Confirming that there was “no injury,” she told reporters that, “It’s been really stressful this Olympic games…it’s been a long week, a long Olympic process, a long year. I think we’re a little too stressed out – we should be out here having fun and that’s just not the case.”

She went on to detail how Tuesday morning was particularly stressful, explaining, “We had a workout this morning. It went okay, and then, just that 5.5-hour break or something I was just like shaking, could barely nap. I just never get like this going into a completion before.”

Olympics Simone Biles
Sunisa Lee, Simone Biles, coach Cecile Landi, and Jordan Chiles of Team United States react during the Women’s Team Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Still, she continued to express the trust she had in the rest of the team continuing without her, saying, “I knew they were going to be just fine… emotions were all over the place, but look they did it without me and they’re Olympic silver medalists.”

Putting mental health first in sports seems to be a common theme this year, as tennis star Osaka pulled herself out of the French Open to protect her peace as well. Biles cited Osaka as “an inspiration” related to her decision this morning, relaying that while her and the entire team are athletes, they are also “people,” adding, “there’s more to life than just gymnastics.”

Biles herself tweeted Tuesday afternoon after her withdrawal, simply posting a white heart to her fans and followers.

Biles also shared her joy in winning silver for Team USA on Instagram and gave credit to her teammates.

“I’m SO proud of these girls right here. You girls are incredibly brave & talented! I’ll forever be inspired by your determination to not give up and to fight through adversity! They stepped up when I couldn’t. thanks for being there for me and having my back! forever love y’all,” she captioned.

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