Simone Biles broke her silence in a candid interview after withdrawing from the women’s gymnastics team final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I’m OK, just super frustrated how the night played out but super proud of these girls that stepped up and did what they needed to do,” the athlete, 24, told Today’s Hoda Kotb on Tuesday, July 27. “And now we’re Olympic silver medalists so it’s something that we’ll cherish forever.”
News that Simone dropped out of the final broke earlier in the afternoon after the Ohio native had a shaky vault performance. “Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement to announce her departure. “She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
Jordan Chiles stepped in on Simone’s behalf and Team USA ultimately came in second, with Russia taking home the gold.
Simone said that she feels “good” physically after her exit but is still coming to terms with the competition not panning out the way she hoped this year. “Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment,” she told Hoda, 56. “Coming to the Olympics and being head star isn’t an easy feat.”
As for whether she’ll compete in the Thursday, July 29, individual all-around competition, Simone left that up in the air. “We’re gonna take it day by day, and we’re just gonna see,” she said.
Simone previously spoke out after not feeling like she was on her A-game during the preliminary competition. “It wasn’t an easy day or my best, but I got through it,” she wrote via Instagram on Monday, July 26, appearing to address her floor and vault routine one day prior.
“I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me, but damn, sometimes it’s hard hahaha!” the star confessed. “The Olympics is no joke!”
As the record-holder for being the most decorated women’s gymnast of all time, Simone strives to always give the Games her all, and she wanted her fellow teammates to have that same mentality with or without her.
Simone said she told her squad, “Go out there, kick some butt just like you’ve done in training and just lay it out on the floor and see what happens.”