Simone Biles Speaks Out After Pulling Out of Team Competition


After her withdrawal from the Olympic women’s gymnastics team competition Tuesday in Tokyo, Simone Biles said that she feels “good” physically but it “varies” emotionally.

“Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape. Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment,” she told Hoda Kotb on NBC’s “Today.”

“Coming here to the Olympics and being the head star of the Olympics is not an easy feat, so we’re just trying to take it one day at a time and we’ll see,” Biles said.

It was unclear if Biles will defend her gold medal in Thursday’s all-around competition.

Russia won the women’s team gymnastics event on Tuesday following Biles’ shocking withdrawal. The United States finished second for the silver medal, while Britain won the bronze medal.

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The United States had been seeking its third straight gold in the woman’s team event. Team USA last won a silver medal in the 2008 games, when China took the gold.

“Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement. “She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”

Prior to that announcement, however, NBC’s Monica Alba tweeted that the 24-year-old had not been injured and was having what her coach termed “a mental issue.”

Biles withdrew from the competition after she stumbled on the landing in one rotation on the vault.

She told “Today” that her teammates were “freaking out” after she withdrew, but she encouraged them to keep competing without her.

“They were like crying, and I was like, ‘You guys need to relax, you’re going to be fine without me,'” Biles said.

“‘Go out there, you kick some butt just like you’ve done in training, and just lay it out on the floor and see what happens.'”

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Teammate Jordan Chiles subbed in for Biles on the uneven bars and the balance beam as Biles returned to the arena and cheered for her teammates from the sidelines.

“I’m OK, just super frustrated of how the night played out, but super proud of these girls that stepped up and did what they needed to do, and now we’re Olympic silver medalists, so it’s something that we’ll cherish forever,” she told Kotb.

“We hope America still loves us.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith