After Simone Biles withdrew from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, she sent a letter to her teammates to motivate them ahead of facing the Russian Olympic Committee in the gymnastics team final.
“I’m sorry. I love you guys, but you’re going to be okay,” Biles told her teammates. “You guys have trained your whole life for this, it’s okay. I went to the Olympics, I’ll be fine. This is the first time – you go in there and kick …
The United States took the silver in the competition, but Biles’ withdrawal following competing in only one event was the story at the Olympics, especially as it was a cause unrelated to injury.
Biles, who is still eligible to compete in the all-around singles event later in the week, told reporters that she was not injured, but “was dealing with a few things.”
Biles said via Olympics.com. “I thought it was best if these girls could take over and do the rest of the job, which they definitely did – they got silver in the Olympics. They should really be elated of themselves for how well they’re doing.”
Biles also spoke about the pressure she was put on and on the shoulders of her teammates.
“It’s been a really stressful Olympics as a whole; not having an audience – there are a lot of distinct variables that go into it [the Games]She added, “It’s been a lengthy week; it’s been a lengthy/year Olympic process. I think we’re feeling a little flustered. We have to be here having fun, and sometimes that’s not the case.
“Today was really stressful, we had practice this morning; it went well but during that five-and-a-half hour wait I was shivering – I could hardly nap. I had never felt like this while in a competition prior. I tried to get out here and have fun; The warm up in the back was a little better, but as soon as I got out here I was like, ‘No, mental [sic] Not here so I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself.”
The American Gymnastics Association said Biles had a “medical problem” following trying to jump, which resulted in a scratch. The broadcast initially stated that it was for a “mental health issue”.
Ryan Gaydus of Fox News contributed to this report.