The U.S. Women's Gymnastics team was front and center on opening night of the Tokyo Games, but it had nothing to do with performance on the mat. Simone Biles and teammates skipped the opening ceremonies, causing the rumor mill to swirl. Turns out, the red, white and blue were just trying to get a little extra rest ahead of Saturday's first day of competition.
As part of an Instagram Q&A, Biles addressed the U.S. team's absence from Friday's opening ceremonies. After first citing Covid, she continued with: "The amount of standing is crazy." Suggesting they'd be on their feet for a while, Biles continued: "USA is usually at the end as well because alphabetical."
24-year-old Biles then referenced Saturday's competition: "We start the following day. So it wouldn’t be smart. We’ve actually never attended an opening I believe."
USA Gymnastics spokesperson, Meredith Yeoman, said the the team was "focused on preparation," per the New York Times.
The ladies took some time away from their prep in order to create their own version of the opening ceremonies. Biles was joined by teammates Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey in a series of pictures from the Olympic village.
Biles needs four total medals at the Tokyo Games to become the most decorated female Olympic gymnast of all-time.