In the finals of the women’s gymnastics event between Team USA and Team Russia at the Tokyo Olympics today, Russia was in the lead, but USA was coming up on them fast. The remaining team members were Grace McCallum, Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee, and Simone Biles. Biles is considered to be Team USA’s secret weapon, as she is a 19-time gold medalist, four of which she won in the 2016 Olympics, and is generally considered one of the best gymnasts in the sport today. Biles, who was up next, seemed to be in good spirits, cheering on her teammates. However, when her turn came up, Biles was visibly struggling to land vaults that, in any other situation, would have been easy for her.
Biles spoke to one of her coaches, as well as the medical staff available, and briefly left the competition floor. When she returned, she re-donned her warmups, a signal that she would not be competing. Without Biles, the USA women’s gymnastics team could not catch up to the Russian team, who won the gold by a three point lead.
“Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue,” USA Gymnastics spokeswoman Carol Fabrizio told USA TODAY Sports. “She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
Simone Biles cheered on her teammates after withdrawing from the Women’s Gymnastics Team Final ❤️
USA Gymnastics said Biles left because of a “medical issue.”
Ultimate teammate ? pic.twitter.com/E7AUjgN0xI
— ESPN (@espn) July 27, 2021
The exact nature of Biles affliction, including whether she was sick or had suffered some manner of injury, has not been divulged to the press. Biles, for her part, did say that she hadn’t suffered any kind of injury, and that she didn’t want to continue after missing her vault. Biles is unsure about whether she will return to the competition on Thursday to defend her individual title.