Canadian gymnast Ellie Black will not compete in the all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced Wednesday morning.
In a press release, the COC and Gymnastics Canada said that the 25-year-old from Halifax had suffered an injury and was unable to compete in Thursday’s event.
“We have the unfortunate news of sharing that Ellie sprained her ankle during Tuesday’s training session and has made the difficult decision to withdraw from the all-around event,” said COC Chief Sport Officer Eric Myles. “We are hoping that she is still able to compete in the beam final on August 3.”
Black placed fifth in this event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Canada’s best-ever result.
At a press conference after the announcement, Black was visibly emotional, choking back tears. “It’s been a crazy year and a half,” she said. “It’s been really, really tough.”
Being in and out of lockdowns, having the Olympics postponed, then injuring her ankle in June just before the Olympics was tough, she said, but added that she had been looking forward to competing in Tokyo.
She re-injured her ankle on Tuesday during a dismount from the balance beam. “It’s difficult, it’s frustrating, it’s upsetting,” she said.
“I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs. It’s just another one of those that we have to overcome,” she said. “But it’s tough. It really sucks.”
Black still hopes that with some rest, she will be able to compete in the balance beam event next week.
Thursday’s all-around final will be missing another star, too — American gymnast Simone Biles, who is the defending champion, will also skip the event, according to USA Gymnastics.
“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition,” USA Gymnastics wrote on Twitter. “We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”
Biles withdrew from the team gymnastics event Tuesday after completing just a single vault.