Four-time gold medalist Simone Biles suddenly exited the women’s gymnastics team final on Tuesday, July 27, after an uncharacteristic vault performance.
Biles’ performance on the vault, an event she usually nails, earned a 13.766 — the lowest score of Biles’ Olympics career.
After her shaky vault, the 24-year-old athlete left the floor with the U.S. team’s medical trainer following her routine. She returned moments later, hugged her teammates and joined the sidelines wearing a Team USA warm-up.
According to the live broadcast on Peacock, Biles’ withdrawal was not due to a physical injury but a “mental issue she is having.” One of her coaches told NBC that “physically is fine, but she is done for tonight.”
The exact reasons behind Bile’s exit are unclear, although USA gymnastics announced that it was due to medical reasons.
“Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement.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.”
Jordan Chiles, the reserve for the event, replaced Biles after her exit. Team USA — with remaining gymnasts Chiles, Suni Lee and Grace McCallum — ended up settling for a silver medal.
Biles also gave an uncharacteristic vault performance on Sunday, July 25, leaving the US team trailing behind their rivals, the Russian Olympic Committee squad entering into the finals.
Biles took to Instagram on Monday to address her performance, as well as the pressure that is placed on her as an Olympic athlete.
“It wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it,” she wrote in the caption. “ 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 olympics is no joke! BUT I’m happy my family was able to be with me virtually🤍 they mean the world to me!” she continued.