TOKYO — Simone Biles came into the Olympics as perhaps the biggest star of the Games. On Tuesday morning, the world was shocked to learn Biles pulled out of the gymnastics team competition with what USA Gymnastics described as a “medical issue.”
USA Gymnastics did not specify the nature of Biles’ medical issue, saying in a statement she “will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
“Physically I feel good, I’m in shape, emotionally that varies on the time and the moment coming here to the Olympics and being the head star of the Olympics is not an easy feat, so we’re trying to take it one day at a time and we’ll see,” Biles told NBC’s Hoda Kotb.
In qualification, the 24-year-old Biles became the first woman since 1992 to advance to all six possible Olympic finals — the team final, individual all-around final and vault, floor, beam and uneven bars final. Though she led the all-around ranks, Biles was uncharacteristically shaky and nearly missed out on beam final entirely. After pulling out of the competition, she returned to the floor to cheer on her teammates.
“I love you guys, but you’re gonna be just fine,” Biles was heard on camera telling her teammates.
Biles is scheduled to defend her Olympic title in the all-around final on Thursday. Whether she will get that opportunity remains to be seen.
The team representing the Russia Olympic Committee surged past the short-handed U.S. to the top of the podium, posting a score of 169.258 to win the country’s first Olympic team gold in nearly 30 years.
The Americans hung on for silver and Great Britain won bronze.