Simone Biles Thanks Her Teammates Who 'Stepped Up When I Couldn't' After Her Withdrawal
The four-time Olympic gold medalist, 24, praised her teammates Jordan Chiles, Suni Lee and Grace McCallum, posting a photo to Instagram of the four of them smiling and holding up their medals. "OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALISTS," she started in the caption.
"I'm SO proud of these girls right here. 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," Biles wrote. "Thanks for being there for me and having my back! Forever love y'all."
Her friend and teammate Chiles reciprocated the love in the comments. "You will forever be loved. We can't thank you enough. You have such a huge inspiration on all of us. We wouldn't have done it without you," Chiles, 20, wrote. "Love you mo."
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Biles exited her first event prematurely, following a botched vault routine. Dropping her planned Amanar vault, she opted for an easier 1.5 twist, for which she posted a 13.766, the lowest vault score of her Olympics career. She subsequently left the floor with the team's medical trainer Marcia Faustin.
USA Gymnastics told PEOPLE in a statement that Biles had "withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions."
Biles later told reporters that she exited for her mental health, and that she's "okay, just dealing with some things internally which will get fixed out in the next couple of days." She added that she worried her stress would negatively impact her performance and her team's chances to medal.
"For me, I'm proud for how the girls stepped up and did what they had to do. I owe this to the girls, it has nothing to do with me," Biles told reporters. "I am very proud of them."
After taking some time to rest and reset on Wednesday, Biles hopes to return for the all-around final on Thursday. She told Today that she's "going to take it day by day and we're just going to see."
Biles previously opened up about her mental state on Instagram, following the team's shaky performance in the qualifying round. "I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times," she wrote. "I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn't affect me but damn sometimes it's hard hahaha! The Olympics is no joke!"
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.