Tokyo — American gymnastics superstar and defending champion Simone Biles removed herself from Thursday’s all-around competition to focus on her mental well-being, USA Gymnastics said.
The organization said in a statement Wednesday that “after further medical evaluation,” Biles, 24, decided not to take part “in order to focus on her mental health.”
“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many,” USA Gymnastics said.
The statement said she’ll “continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals.”
The decision comes a day afterfollowing one rotation because she felt she wasn’t mentally ready.
Biles has received lots of support for prioritizing her mental health, from many quarters, ranging from the Director-General of the World Health Organization to fellow Olympians like Max Whitlock:
Jade Carey, who finished ninth in qualifying, will take Biles’ place in the all-around. Carey didn’t qualify at first because she was the third-ranking American behind Biles and Sunisa Lee. International Gymnastics Federation rules keep countries form using more than two athletes per event in the finals.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report