Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles withdraws from two more events
American gymnast Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic event finals in the vault and uneven bars. Biles, who is battling mental health issues, had earlier opted out of the women's all-around final and the team final after a poor show in her opening vault. MyKayla Skinner will now compete for the US alongside Jade Carey. Here are further details.
A look at the official statement
USA Gymnastics informed about the development on Saturday. "Today, after further consultation with medical staff, Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the event finals for vault and the uneven bars," said USAG in a statement. It added, "She will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam."
Biles has been struggling with 'twisties'
Biles entered the Tokyo Olympics seeking five gold medals. However, she skipped the women's team competition and individual all-round final, citing mental health issues. Biles said has been struggling with "twisties", the mental block that has forced her to withdraw. She said the previous bouts of twisties had taken two or more weeks to pass, but there was "honestly no telling the time frame".
Biles registered her lowest Olympic vault score
Biles registered her lowest Olympic vault score in the opening rotation before she opted out of the team final. She left the arena but later returned to support her team-mates as the US claimed silver. After the event, Biles said, "I just didn't want to go on. I have to focus on my mental health. Mental health is more prevalent in sports right now."
'Sometimes you just have to step back', adds Biles
"We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do. We're not just athletes. We're people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back," added Biles.
Will Biles compete in the floor exercise and balance beam?
Biles stated in her Instagram story that "twisties" surfaced after she arrived in Japan. "It's honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind and body in sync. 10/10 don't recommend," she wrote. Biles had become the first woman since 1992 to qualify for all four events. It remains to be seen if she competes for floor exercise and balance beam.
The first woman to land Yurchenko double pike
In May 2021, Biles became the first woman to land the Yurchenko double pike vault. The Yurchenko double pike involves a roundoff onto the springboard, a back handspring onto the vaulting table, and a piked double backflip into the air before landing.