Simone Biles thanks teammates for ‘stepping up when I couldn’t’July 27, 2021
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Simone Biles is proud of her teammates for “stepping up” after she unexpectedly pulled out of the all-around women’s gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health.
“They stepped up when I couldn’t,” Biles wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday, hours after the women’s gymnastics squad won silver in the team competition, placing behind the Russian Olympic Committee.
“I’m SO proud of these girls right here,” Biles wrote, referring to teammates Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum — all of whom were pictured alongside her, holding their second-place medals.
“You girls are incredibly brave & talented! I’ll forever be inspired by your determination to not give up and to fight through adversity!,” Biles continued before thanking her teammates for “being there for me and having my back! Forever love y’all.”
Chiles, who filled in for Biles on the uneven bars and the beam following her exit, told Biles she’ll “forever be loved” in a comment under her post.
“We can’t thank you enough. You have such a huge inspiration on all of us. We wouldn’t have done it without you love you mo,” Chiles wrote.
Jonathan Owens, a safety for the Texans and Biles’ boyfriend added, “I’m so proud of y’all.”
Biles’ situation also sparked supportive responses from her former Rio Olympics (2016) teammates, Aly Raisman and Laurie Hernandez.
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Following a shaky landing on vault, Biles exited the competition Tuesday and later returned to the sidelines to cheer on her teammates.
When she informed her teammates of her decision to withdraw from the team competition, Biles told NBC’s Hoda Kotb that they “were freaking out.”
“They were crying, and I was like, ‘You guys need to relax, you’re gonna be fine without me. Go out there, kick some butt just like you’ve done in training, and just lay it out on the floor and see what happens,’” she recalled about the emotional moment.
Biles explained that “physically, I feel good, I’m in shape.” Though, “emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and the moment. Coming here to the Olympics and being the head star of the Olympics is not an easy feat, so we’re just trying to take it one day at a time and we’ll see,” she said.
For now, “I have to focus on my mental health,” Biles said in a press conference.
The 24-year-old indicated that she likely will compete in the individual competition later in the week.
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