Tokyo Games holds breath for Biles's decision

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Gymnastics - Artistic - Women's Team - Final - Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan - July 27, 2021.  Silver medallist Simone Biles of the United States wearing a protective face mask looks down.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Gymnastics - Artistic - Women's Team - Final - Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan - July 27, 2021. Silver medallist Simone Biles of the United States wearing a protective face mask looks down. (Lindsey Wasson, Reuters)


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TOKYO — The Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday were still coming to terms with Simone Biles's stunning exit from the women's gymnastics team event and waiting to learn if the American would return to competition.

Biles sent shockwaves through the Summer Games on Tuesday when she dropped out of the team competition on her opening vault after receiving a low mark.

The 24-year-old said the pressure of living up to expectations and her quest for a record six gold medals had left her no choice but to drop out for her own mental health.

Biles, however, did not rule out a return to competition starting with Thursday's all-around event where she would defend her Olympic title.

"After the performance I did I just didn't want to go on," said Biles, who picked up her sixth Olympic medal for being part of the U.S. squad that went on to place second behind Russia.

"We are going to see about Thursday."

International Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Adams said on Wednesday the IOC has "huge respect and support" for Biles.

Adams, who declined to speculate on Biles's next steps, said mental health remained a big issue and that it was a matter the organisation had been working on for some time.

IOC President Thomas Bach was seen in deep conversation with Biles on the floor of the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on Tuesday before handing out medals.

Biles had qualified for all six gymnastics event finals and a sweep of the gold medals would have given her 10 over two Summer Games, making her the most accomplished woman Olympian in any sport.

Photos

Reuters

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