Biles vaulted third of the American gymnasts, signaling that she planned to complete an Amanar vault—a roundoff handspring onto the vaulting table, followed by two and a half twists in the air.
Instead, she appeared to complete only one and a half twists, landed bending her knees deep and then left the arena floor. She briefly reappeared but did not get up for the uneven bars, the second rotation, with her training mate Jordan Chiles taking her place.
Biles’ problems on vault left the U.S. with a heavy deficit to make up even without having to count her out for the remainder of the competition. The U.S. women had already finished behind Russian gymnasts in the qualifying round, and without Biles, would likely have been even further back.
“Simone has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement. “She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions.”
The 24-year-old Biles led the all-around standings after the qualifying round on Sunday, but the heavily favored American team trailed the Russian Olympic Committee squad entering the finals.
Biles said per CNN, “Whenever you get in a high stress situation you kind of freak out. I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and wellbeing.”
“We have to protect our body and our mind,” she continued. “It just sucks when you’re fighting with your own head.”
She added that she and her teammates are “not just athletes, we’re people at the end of the day.”
“Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape,” Simone added. “Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment. Coming to the Olympics and being head star isn’t an easy feat, so we’re just trying to take it one day at a time and we’ll see.”
“I’m OK, just super frustrated of how the night, but super proud of these girls and now we’re silver medalists. Something we’ll cherish forever. We hope America still loves us,” Simone added. Team USA won silver after Simone withdrew.