Simone Biles will now compete in the balance beam competition, in what would be the U.S. star gymnast’s last chance for gold in Tokyo; after pulling out of other events citing mental health issues officials say.
Despite her initial shocking withdrawal, Simone Biles’ decision to take part in the balance beam final enlivened the USA Gymnastics team. She is reigning world champion on the beam and picked up an Olympic bronze on the apparatus in Rio.
“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!” USA Gymnastics said in a statement.
The 24-year-old Simone Biles, who won four golds at the 2016 Rio Games, dropped out of the all-around, floor exercise, vault and asymmetric bars finals in Tokyo.
Biles, who shocked the world last week when she withdrew from the team and several individual events, has brought athletes’ mental health into the spotlight at a pandemic-affected Games which has had its share of controversy.
The Games are taking place without spectators and under strict measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic, an unprecedented event in the history of the modern Olympics.