Simone Biles’ participation in the rest of the Tokyo Olympics is in jeopardy after she was abruptly pulled from the team final due to a “medical concern” on Tuesday.
After landing her vault, the 24-year-old American star, widely regarded as the best gymnast of all time, huddled with a trainer. She was then escorted by their team doctor off the competition floor.
Biles reappeared a few minutes later. Before putting on a sweater and sweatpants, she removed her bar grips and hugged teammates Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee, and Jordan Chiles. Chiles took Biles’ place on the uneven bars and balance beam.
The Americans will be forced to continue the rest of the tournament without her, putting their chances of winning a third consecutive Olympic gold in jeopardy.
The United States started the finals on vault, with Biles going last. She was meant to perform a “Amanar,” a vault that starts with a roundoff back handspring onto the table and ends with two and a half twists. She appeared to alter her mind in the middle of the twist, doing only 1 1/2 twist instead.
Before leaving the arena, she walked off the podium and was attended to by team doctor Marcia Faustin.
Biles was suffering from an unidentified “medical condition,” according to a statement from USA Gymnastics, and was being assessed on a daily basis to see if she could continue her Olympic campaign.
“Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” the statement sent to AFP said.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist qualified for all six finals at the 2016 Rio Games, but her qualifying effort on Sunday was marred by unusual errors.
Biles is scheduled to defend her Olympic title in the all-around final on Thursday. Whether she will get that opportunity remains to be seen.
On Monday, the 24-year-old wrote on Instagram that she sometimes feels like she carries “the weight of the world” on her shoulders.