Simone Biles and Team USA Gymnasts Won't Walk in the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony — Here's Why
Biles shared a snap of herself and teammates Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner in their Team USA opening ceremony outfits
The Team USA gymnasts are looking sharp in their opening ceremony outfits — but they're staying in for the night.
The team just dressed up for a photo, though — they decided not to walk with Team USA in the slimmed-down opening ceremony because they are "focused on preparation" ahead of the women's gymnastics qualifying round that begins on Saturday, Meredith Yeoman, a spokeswoman for USA Gymnastics told The New York Times.
"The men's and women's artistic gymnasts did not walk," Yeoman tells PEOPLE. "They will be competing within the next couple of days and are focused on preparation."
And in a Q&A on her Instagram Story, Biles added that they "did our own little walk outside where we are staying haha."
She also explained their other reasons for skipping the opening ceremony, including "COVID," and the "amount of standing."
"We start the following day, so it wouldn't be smart," Biles said.
Biles, Chiles, Lee and McCallum will compete in the team competition, while Carey and Skinner will tackle individual events, depending on what they qualify for over the weekend — both excel at floor and vault.
The team got a chance to practice at Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo, where they will later compete, on Thursday. Biles documented the training session on Instagram with photos of her and her teammates and coaches.
Biles thanked their coaches for helping them get to the world stage.
"S/O to the best coaches for sacrificing so much for us to be able to reach out dreams," Biles wrote alongside the photo of herself, Chiles, and coaches Laurent Landi and Cecile Canqueteau-Landi. "It doesn't go unnoticed. So thankful for you guys."
Biles is hoping to add to her five Olympic medals at the Tokyo Games and help Team USA secure their third-straight gold medal.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics beginning July 23rd and the Tokyo Paralympics beginning August 24th on NBC.