Simone Biles is considered one of the greatest female gymnasts of all-time, an athlete who competes on a different level, with four signature moves named after her in three different events.
The level of difficulty undertaken by the six-time Olympic medalist is one reason her decision to withdraw from both the team and individual competitions at the Tokyo Olympics is being applauded by gymnastics experts.
“Gymnastics is a sport where if you make a mistake you can get severely, severely injured,” said Valorie Kondos Field, former longtime head coach of the UCLA Women’s Gymnastics team. “The worst possible injury you can think of happening can happen in this sport if you lose your focus.”
During Tuesday’s team competition final, Biles, 24, had planned to do a vault with two-and-a-half twists. Instead, mid-air, Biles lost her way and completed only one-and-a-half twists and stumbled on her landing.
Shortly after that vault, USA Gymnastics announced Biles’ early exit from the team competition.