27th July, 2021
Simone Biles’ Tokyo Olympics future was in doubt on Tuesday after she said she was unsure whether she would compete on Thursday in the women’s all-around event.
“After the performance I did I just didn’t want to go on,” said Biles, fighting back tears as she met with the media.
“We are going to see about Thursday.
“I’m just trying to gear up for the next test.”
Biles bid to launch a history-making goldrush at the Tokyo Olympics fell apart after a single vault on Tuesday.
The gymnast superstar pulled out of the team event, and her American team mates were beaten to the title by the Russians.
It was a stunning and disappointing start to the Olympics for the U.S. women, who had expected to dominate the final as they had not been beaten in a major team competition since 2011.
But the entire event was turned on its head in an instant when Biles, the world and Olympic all-around champion, completely mistimed her opening vault to earn a low score of 13.766.
It was a setback the U.S. never recovered from as Russia, competing as representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) because the country was stripped of its flag and anthem for doping offences, claimed the team title for the first time since the Unified Team at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
The U.S., winners in 2012 and 2016, settled for silver and Britain claimed the bronze.
There were signs Biles had been struggling to live up to her high standards.
At the U.S. Olympic Trials in June she was left in tears when she was unable to come to grips with the disappointment of her performance.
The pressure of chasing medals continued to build in Tokyo, Biles posting on social media after Sunday’s uninspired qualification effort that she felt she was carrying the weight of the world.
“It wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it,” Biles wrote on Instagram. “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times.
“I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha!
“The Olympics is no joke!”
There was an instant outpouring of support for Biles on social media.