BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In one of the biggest shocks of the Tokyo Summer Olympics so far, USA gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the team competition early Tuesday. Team USA would go on to take silver.
Biles confirmed it wasn’t an injury that caused her to withdraw.READ MORE: ‘We Love You’: Athletes, Fans Offer Support To Simone Biles After She Withdrew From Olympics Gymnastics Team Final
“I just never felt like this going into a competition,” said Biles. “Once I came out here I was like, ‘No, mental is not here, I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself.’”
On Monday, Biles posted on Instagram, “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times.”
“If you’re an athlete on a big stage, especially one as elite as (Biles), your world can get very big, very quickly, and your mind needs to be focused on execution,” said Dr. David McDuff, the director of sports psychiatry at the University of Maryland at Baltimore School of Medicine.
While Biles is no stranger to the Olympics, this year’s games are different from years past with no fans in attendance, and family being forced to watch from thousands of miles away.
“I think all these things can detract away from just the joy of the moment,” McDuff said.READ MORE: Olympic champion Simone Biles "super frustrated" after pulling out of team finals
Biles said she withdrew because it was best for her, and her teammates.
“I didn’t want to do something silly out there and get injured,” she said. “I thought it was best if the girls took over and did the rest of the job which they absolutely did.”
Biles and the rest of the US women’s gymnastics team will have some time on Wednesday to refocus. She says she’ll then decide whether she will compete in the individual events.