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Simone Biles is going to give it one last attempt at the Olymic Games — USA Gymnastics announced that she will attempt to compete in Tuesday’s balance beam final.
Biles qualified seventh of eight competitors, but her decision does not impact any other Team USA gymnast. Suni Lee is in the final having qualified third overall, and no other U.S. team member would have qualified even if Biles dropped out, Yahoo Sports reports.
Biles had previously withdrawn from every individual event at these Games — all-around, vault, floor, uneven bars — after winning gold in the first three of those events at the 2016 Olympics, plus a bronze on balance beam.
A day before she withdrew from all individual events at the Games, she withdrew from the team final competition due to what was then listed as a “medical issue.”
The 24-year-old cited a lack of “air awareness” or what gymnasts call “the twisties” that make trying to complete extremely difficult moves extremely dangerous.
“I didn’t know where I was in the air,” Biles said, per Yahoo Sports.
Yahoo Sports reports that there is no guarantee Biles will actually compete — the event is not one of her strongest events and she is not considered a favorite to medal.
Biles said she had been suffering from stress, anxiety and mental health issues upon arriving in Tokyo where the immense pressure to push for perfection became too much.
“These Olympic Games, I wanted it to be about myself,” Biles said last week, per Yahoo Sports. “And I came in and I felt I was still doing it for other people and it hurts my heart that doing what I love has been taken away from me to please other people. … I was like, ‘I am not in the right headspace [to continue to compete on team]. I am not going to lose a medal for this country and these girls because they’ve worked way too hard to have me go out there and lose a medal.’”
USA Gymnastics was able to still win silver with Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum handling all of the remaining rotations after Biles withdrew, and Tuesday’s event will be the last opportunity for Biles to compete in Tokyo.
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