After withdrawing from all other finals, USA Gymnastics has confirmed that star gymnast Simone Biles will compete in the balance beam final, scheduled for Tuesday. Biles will compete in the last women’s gymnastics event alongside teammate Sunisa Lee.
Biles pulled out of Monday’s floor exercise final, an event that earned her a gold medal at 2016’s Rio Olympics. Another member of the US team — Jade Carey — won the gold medal in the floor exercise instead.
Considered the greatest gymnast of all time, Biles surprised the world last week when she withdrew from the women’s team all-around final, citing mental health concerns. She later pulled out of the Individual all-around finals and then the vault, uneven bars and floor exercise finals too.
In the wake of her first withdrawal last week, Biles said she wasn’t in the right mental state to compete. “I just felt like it would be a little bit better to take a backseat, work on my mindfulness and I knew that the girls would do an absolutely great job and I didn’t want to risk the team a medal,” Biles said at a press conference.
“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,” read a statement from USA Gymnastics following her withdrawal from the individual all-arounds finals.
Biles has noted on social media that she’s been suffering from the “twisties” — a phenomenon in which gymnasts lose the ability to tell where their body is while performing twists, making it difficult to negotiate a safe landing. Unlike Biles’ other events, her beam routine doesn’t rely as heavily on twists, aside from her dismount, which she will possibly replace with another move.
Biles entered thewith serious momentum. She currently holds more medals than any other gymnastics competitor, with 25 — 19 of which are golds. Biles is one of six women the US sent to the Olympics to compete in gymnastics, alongside Lee, Carey, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum and MyKayla Skinner.
Biles’ remaining event
Olympic gymnastics comprises four events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Following her qualification round, Biles was set to compete in all four. In total, Biles was expected to win up to six gold medals. In Rio’s 2016 Olympics, she won four golds — in vault, floor, individual all-around and team all-around — and performed with such distinction that she was chosen as the US flag bearer at the closing ceremonies.
Biles’ situation and decisions have earned her mass support — and some criticism.
In the US, you can watch the Olympics and all of the above events through NBC. NBC’s TV channel will air edited versions of the Games during prime-time hours, but you can watch the events live onor on NBCOlympics.com. Viewers in the UK will watch through EuroSport, while Australians can see the games through Channel 7 and the 7plus streaming service.
Biles is set to compete in the balance beam final on Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 1 a.m. PT/ 4 a.m. ET/9 a.m. UK time/6 p.m. AEST
Best gymnast ever
Biles has become a significant force unto herself in recent years: She’s often called the greatest gymnast of all time and, after just one Olympic Games, is considered a top-tier Olympian.
Her accolades go beyond medals. She was named ESPN’s Most Dominant Athlete of the Year (2018), ESPN’s Woman of the Year (2016) and AP’s Female Athlete of the Year (2019).
CNET’s Sean Keane and Katie Collins contributed to this report.