Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles has had a rough ride at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Ohio native started strong, but a shaky showing on the vault led her to withdraw from the Team competition — and she has subsequently removed herself from several other events. Keep scrolling for all the details on Simone’s standing at the 2021 Olympic Games.
Why Did Simone Biles Withdraw From Competing?
The gymnast, 24, unexpectedly pulled out of the Team finals at the Tokyo Olympics due to a mental health concern following a shaky performance on vault during the early hours of Tuesday, July 27. “Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement. “She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
The Courage to Soar author, who is the most decorated gymnast in history, performed on vault for her first event, where she was noticeably off-kilter. She received a 13.766 for her routine, which is the lowest vault score of her career.
After finishing, Simone left the floor with the team’s medical trainer Marcia Faustin. When she returned, the Texas resident could be seen dressed in her white Team USA warm-up gear as she hugged her remaining teammates, including Sunisa “Suni” Lee and Grace McCallum.
She later revealed that she was suffering from the “twisties,” which was nearly disastrous for her vault performance. She had planned to do a two-and-a-half twisting vault, but her mind and body’s lack of coordination only allowed her to perform one and a half twists.
The following day, Simone announced that she would be withdrawing from the all-around competition. On July 30, the Ohio native withdrew from the vault and uneven bars finals. Early the next morning, Simone withdrew from the floor finals. She is still suffering from the “twisties.”
What Does the “Twisties” Mean?
After taking herself out of the running, Simone cited a phenomenon known as the “twisties” as the reason she needed to remove herself from the Team competition — and received incredible support from fellow gymnasts who have also experienced the disturbance in their own training.
The scary scenario occurs when an athlete loses awareness while they are in mid-air, which makes it incredibly difficult to land safely. This type of disruption usually happens due to a mental block, Simone’s coach, Aimee Boorman, revealed to the Today show two days after she withdrew from her first event.
“Every once in a while, she would form this block and it usually had nothing to do with the gymnastics itself,” the gymnastics lead explained to the outlet on Thursday, July 29. “It had to do with other things going on in her, in her universe.”
Who Replaced Simone Biles in the Tokyo Olympics?
Reserve Jordan Chiles stepped in to replace her in the Team finals and Team USA subsequently won a silver medal in artistic gymnastics with Russia’s team taking home the gold.
American gymnast Jade Carey — who had been competing as an individual and not as part of Team USA — took her place in the all-around competition and finished eighth overall.
American gymnast MyKayla Skinner, who was also competing as an individual, took her place in the vault finals and secured a silver medal.
Is Simone Biles Still in the Olympics?
She is still assessing her readiness for the balance beam finals. According to a post from USA Gymnastics’ Twitter account on August 1, she will make a decision “later this week.”
On August 2, it was announced that Simone will rejoin the competition on Tuesday, August 3. “We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow — Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!!” USA Gymnastics tweeted. “Can’t wait to watch you both!”