Simone Biles Speaks Out About A Possible Olympic Return After Shocking Withdrawal From Team Event

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The most dominant gymnast of all-time has unexpectedly pulled out of the all-around women’s gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics, leaving the door open for Russia to secure gold.

24-year-old Simone Biles exited the women’s team final Tuesday after a couple uncharacteristic mistakes, namely struggling to stick a landing during her opening vault.

It was initially reported by USA Gymnastics that the four-time Olympic gold medalist bowed out due to a “medical issue,” but NBC’s broadcasting crew indicated that the impetus was in fact “mental.”

In the past, Simone has admitted to seeing a psychologist and taking anxiety medication, and just yesterday posted to her 4.5 million Instagram followers that she feels like she has “the weight of the world on her shoulders.”

In a telephone interview a week before leaving for the Tokyo Games, she was asked by The New York Times to name the happiest moment of her career.

“Honestly, probably my time off,” she said.

Biles is one of the dozens of women who were sexually abused by former USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, and she revealed in her Facebook Watch series Simone vs Herselfthat she slipped into a deep depression in the wake of the saga.

“I remember being on the phone with my agent, and telling my mom and my agent that I slept all the time. Because sleeping was better than offing myself. It was my way to escape reality. Sleeping was like the closest thing to death for me at that point, so I just slept all the time.”

It’s since been reported by John Watson at BBC Sport, who’s spoken to Biles, that she is ok but “dealing with some things internally that will get fixed in the next few days.” He asked her if she will be back on Thursday for the women’s all around final. She said yes.

NBC News reporter Carl Quintanilla confirmed that the withdrawal was largely mental for Simone.

Stay tuned.

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Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.