Gymnastics team final full of surprises
After a shaky performance on vault on Tuesday, world champion gymnast Simone Biles walked away with her trainer and returned to cheer from the sidelines for the rest of the team final. She said she was not in the right “headspace” to compete. Jordan Chiles stepped into Biles’ position on uneven bars and beam even though she had not prepared for these events. The Russian Olympic Committee women’s team took gold, pulling three points ahead of Team USA, which won silver. The ROC men’s gymnastics team also beat Japan for gold by 0.103 points.
Is Biles OK? “We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day we’re human, too,” she said. “So, we have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.” USA Gymnastics announced Team USA will take a mental rest day on Wednesday and Biles has to be medically cleared for further Olympic competitions. She withdrew from Thursday's all-round final, but it is unclear whether she will compete in individual events next week. She qualified for four event finals.
Dig deeper: Read Sharon Dierberger’s review of Weight of Gold, a documentary about athletes’ struggles with mental health.
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