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Simone Biles: It Wasn't a Physical Injury

'I have to focus on my mental health,' says gymnast after exit from team competition
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2021 11:00 AM CDT
Simon Biles: It Wasn't a Physical Injury
Simone Biles lands during her vault routine on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

(Newser) – Simone Biles is shedding some light on the Olympic stunner that saw her exit from team competition on Tuesday. While USA Gymnastics cited a "medical issue," Biles herself clarified that it wasn't a physical injury, reports the Washington Post. "I just felt like it would be a little bit better to take a back seat and work on my mindfulness," she's quoted as saying. It remains unclear whether Biles would continue to participate in solo competition. "We're going to see about Thursday," the 24-year-old said. "We're going to take it a day at a time. I know tomorrow we have a little bit of a break for training, so that'll be really nice to have a mental rest day."

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  • CBS News notes that on Monday, Biles posted about the pressure she was under at the Games. "I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times," she wrote. "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!"
  • On Tuesday, Biles looked shaky in her vault routine—a rarity for her—then spoke to a team doctor and exited, per the AP. She returned a few minutes later, but only to cheer on her teammates. The team settled for a silver medal.
  • "It's very uncharacteristic of me," she later said. "So it just sucks that it happens here at the Olympic Games than have it happen at any other time. But, you know, with the year that it's been, I'm really not surprised."
  • CNN has more on her explanation: "Whenever you get in a high-stress situation, you kind of freak out," she told reporters. "I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being." She added that athletes "have to protect our body and our mind" and that "it just sucks when you're fighting with your own head."
(Read more Simone Biles stories.)

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