And just like that, she’s back. After making national headlines for pulling out of her remaining events in the Tokyo Games, Simone Biles, ranked by many as the greatest gymnast of all time, will return to compete in the artistic balance beam final.
The news arrived Monday (August 2) via the official Twitter account of the USA Gymnastics team.
“We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow – Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both,” USAG wrote.
Biles’ return to the competition comes as a shock to many: Just last week, officials said she would pull out of the remaining events “in order to focus on her mental health.” On July 31, Biles withdrew from the vault and uneven bars finals. Then the following day, she did not compete in the floor final, her fourth consecutive exit.
“Simone has withdrawn from the event final for floor and will make a decision on beam later this week. Either way, we’re all behind you, Simone,” USAG said in a statement.
The star gymnast echoed those sentiments, telling cameras it was a difficult decision to step away at such a critical point in her athletic career, but it was even more important to make self-care a priority.
“There is more to life than just gymnastics,” Biles said last week. “It is very unfortunate that it has to happen at this stage, because I definitely wanted this Olympics to go a little bit better, but again, take it one day at a time. We’re gonna see how the rest goes.”
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