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‘Still our GOAT’: Social media reacts to Simone Biles pulling out of team competition

Simone Biles, in her Team USA warmup suit with media and empty stadium seats in the background.
Simone Biles walks alone after the women’s team final at the Tokyo Olympics.
(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

Simone Biles wrote Monday on Instagram, “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times” and “the olympics is no joke!”

The next day, the U.S. gymnastics superstar pulled herself out of the team competition at the Tokyo Olympics, citing her mental health and saying she did not want to hurt herself or put her teammates’ medal dreams at risk by continuing to compete.

Biles later told reporters she made the decision after a vault during which “I had no idea where I was in the air.”

“We want to walk out of here, not be dragged out of here on a stretcher or anything,” she said. “After that vault I was, ‘I’m not in the right headspace. I’m not going to lose a medal for this country and these girls because they worked way too hard for me to go out there and have them lose a medal.’”

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U.S. gymnast Simone Biles was scratched from the team competition and the U.S. went on to finish second behind the Russian Olympic Committee team.

Teammates Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum finished the competition and helped the U.S. claim the silver medal. The Russian Olympic Committee took the gold, and Britain earned bronze.

Biles returned to Instagram to post a photo of herself and her teammates posing with their silver medals.

“I’m SO proud of these girls right here,” Biles wrote. “You girls are incredibly brave & talented! I’ll forever be inspired by your determination to not give up and to fight through adversity! They stepped up when I couldn’t. thanks for being there for me and having my back! forever love y’all.”

Many others from the gymnastics world and beyond took to social media to express their support for Biles and the U.S. team.

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Los Angeles Times staff writers Helene Elliott, Thuc Nhi Nguyen and Chuck Schilken contributed to this report.


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