Simone Biles will compete in the balance beam final at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 24-year-old gymnast has pulled out of five of her six events at the games, due to mental health concerns and the twisties – which causes gymnasts to become disoriented mid-air – but she has decided to take part in the balance beam final on Tuesday (03.08.21) alongside USA teammate Suni Lee.
USA Gymnastics wrote on Twitter: “We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow – Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!”
Meanwhile, International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach has praised Biles for showing “Olympic spirit at its best” by cheering on her fellow gymnasts after pulling out of her events.
He said: “For Simone, I can only say we are with her and we wish her well. And I must personally say I had the opportunity to briefly talk with her after the team competition, that I’m really admiring how she’s handling the situation. That on the one hand she admits to have this problem, this is already courageous. Who one year ago would have admitted mental health problems? And at the same time cheering on her teammates and then being there and supporting when her successor is crowned in the all-around final. This is great human quality and this is Olympic spirit at its best.”
Simone previously pulled out of the women’s team final after losing her bearings in the air during her opening vault. She also decided not to compete in the individual all-around, vault, bars and floor finals due to the mental block.
She explained on Instagram: “For anyone saying I quit, I didn’t quit, my mind and body are simply not in sync. I don’t think you [understand] how dangerous this is on a hard/competition surface.”