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Simone Biles withdraws from all-around gymnastics competition at Tokyo Olympics

Click to play video: 'Simone Biles, greatest gymnast of all time, puts mental health on Olympic podium' Simone Biles, greatest gymnast of all time, puts mental health on Olympic podium
WATCH: Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history, has now withdrawn from two competitions at the Tokyo Olympics, to focus on her mental health. As Crystal Goomansingh explains, Biles is being praised for showing strength through self-care – Jul 28, 2021

Simone Biles has withdrawn from Thursday’s all-around athletic gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics, after stepping back from competition on Tuesday.

USA Gymnastics released a statement saying Biles’ withdrawal was made “after further medical evaluation” for the 24-year-old superstar gymnast to “focus on her mental health.”

Read more: Simone Biles, U.S. gymnast, withdraws from Olympics team gymnastics competition

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being,” the organization said.

It remains to be seen if Biles will rejoin the competition for next week’s individual event finals.

USA Gymnastics said Jade Carney will compete for the U.S. in Biles’ place on Thursday.

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Biles, considered the top gymnast at the Olympics, had qualified for all four event finals at the Tokyo Games and was expected to win at least one more gold, including in Tuesday’s women’s team event.

Yet a disappointing vault in the first rotation led Biles to be pulled from the competition.

“After the performance I did, I just didn’t want to go on,” Biles said after the event. “I felt like it would be better to take a back seat. I didn’t want to risk the team a medal because they worked way too hard for my screw ups.”​

According to an official Olympic Twitter account, Biles was attended to by a trainer after her vault, and returned to the arena with her foot strapped heavily. Her teammate Jordan Chiles performed on the uneven bars in her place.

The U.S. team ended up winning silver, with Russia taking the gold.

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According to Reuters, Biles said Tuesday that she was not injured, “Just a little injury to my pride.”

“I have to focus on my mental health,” she said.

“I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now…. We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.

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“I don’t trust myself as much anymore…. Maybe it’s getting older. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world.​

“We’re not just athletes, we’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back.​”

–With files from Global’s Leslie Young and Reuters

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