Simone Biles withdraws from individual all-around final at Tokyo Olympics

Posted at 9:20 PM, Jul 27, 2021

Four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles will not defend her individual all-around Olympic title in Tokyo.

“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health. Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals," USA Gymnastics said in a statement. "We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”

U.S. gymnast Jade Carey, competing as an individual in Tokyo, will now compete in the all-around after finishing ninth overall in qualifications. 

Biles, 24, withdrew from the women's team contest after the first rotation on vault Tuesday, citing her mental health and the adverse impact of the immense pressure she is facing to perform at these Games. Her decision drew an outpouring of support from athletes and celebrities from around the world, including from Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, who's emerged as a mental health advocate since retiring from swimming. 

"This Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself. But I was still doing it for other people," Biles told reporters on Tuesday. "It hurts my heart that doing what I love has been kind of taken away from me to please other people."

SEE MORE: Phelps: Biles' anguish 'broke my heart,' eye-opening for mental health advocacy

Despite an uncharacteristically shaky performance in qualifications, Biles became the first woman since 1992 to advance to the final in all six possible Olympic events — the team final, individual all-around final and the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor event finals. 

After the team final, Biles said she would take it "one day at a time" when it comes to her plans to compete in the remaining events. 

Biles won five medals at the 2016 Olympics: gold in the team final, individual all-around, vault and floor finals, and bronze on beam.