The American gymnasts had to do without their star as because Simone Biles out of Olympics! The many-time Olympic medalist, who was competing in the team all-around final, stopped her competition at the end of the first rotation. After an aborted first vault, whose difficulty did not match the one announced by the gymnast, Simone Biles quickly and briefly left the hall.
She had already scored 13.766 points. It was a score far from her standards and placed her in last place in her group, which consisted of two other Americans and their Russian opponents. The American Gymnastics Federation mentioned “medical reasons” for Simone Biles out of Olympics.
Second after the second rotation
The 24-year-old Simone Biles returned to the gym, spoke with her staff and teammates, and finally changed into her jogging gear. Grace Callume, Jordan Chiles and Sunisa Lee will be trying to win another title without their four-time Rio Olympic champion.
Following the second rotation, the Americans were in second place, just behind the Russians. They went on to compete on beam and finally finished on floor. They eventually finished second behind Russia, who made the double after the victory in the women’s event the day before, and Great Britain. The French, third in the qualifications, finished sixth.
Demons in Simone Biles’ Head
However, the 24-year-old finally put her finger on what was eating away at her: “As soon as I get on the mat, it’s just me and my head…dealing with demons in my head…,” she explained. “I need to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health and not compromise my health and well-being. Eventually, we’re human too, we have to protect our minds and bodies, instead of doing what the world expects of us.” Notably, Biles is suffering from the enormous pressure on her shoulders while she can still match the all-time record of titles (9) for an athlete at the Games and join another gymnast, Larissa Latynina.
“I DON’T GET AS MUCH PLEASURE AS I USED TO”
However, for that, she will have to find peace of mind before the finals of the individual events for which she is qualified: “I don’t have as much confidence in myself as before, I don’t know if it is a question of age. I’m a bit more nervous when I’m doing my sport,” continued the four-time Rio Olympic champion. “I have the feeling that I don’t take as much pleasure as I used to.” And still crying, “I know that these are the Games, I wanted to do them for me alone but I participate in fact for others than me.”
The words of Biles echo those of Japan’s Naomi Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam winner who was knocked out in the second round of the tennis tournament on Tuesday. “The pressure, I should be used to it. But, at the same time, the magnitude of such an event was really complicated to manage”, said the Japanese. Hours after her qualifying, Biles posted a worrying message on Instagram to her fans, “Sometimes I feel like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders.”
Uncertain for the Continuation
However, this Tuesday, she finally folded. And broke up? Not yet. But there’s real concern about her future in Tokyo. The American Federation indicated that she was uncertain for the continuation of the Games while some unusual errors have marred her qualifications on Sunday. Biles has not lost an all-around since 2013. However, this Tuesday, in Tokyo, the American revealed her cracks of the moment and never seemed so close to the implosion.
She does not know what her Olympics will be made of and she does not exclude a definitive withdrawal: “I want to focus on my well-being,” she said. “There is more in life than the gym, it is really a pity that it happens here, during the Games, I would have liked that the Games take place better for me, but I will take the days one after the other and see how it is going to happen”.
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Especially in small sports, Olympics means everything
However, it’s not just the stars who have to perform to the hilt at the Olympics. Especially in smaller sports, the entire training program, and in fact the entire life, is focused on the one moment when the Olympic medal is at stake.
The canoeists, marksmen and rowers normally pursue their sport without being noticed by the public; only once every four years at the Olympics do they step onto the big stage. This is when the one performance they have been working towards has to come off. For many of them, sponsorship money and further support depend on it.
In many cases, however, the nerves fail at the decisive moment – quite apart from the fact that only one winner can be chosen anyway and that the other medal places are also limited. These are heartbreaking scenes that unfold when four years of training and sacrifice vanish into thin air.
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