Tokyo 2020 Round-Up: Simone Biles Withdraws From Individual All-Around Final

With the Olympic Games now in full swing, this series from SwimSwam looks at some of the leading news outside of swimming as athletes around the globe contest their Olympic events in the Japanese capital. Paralympic news will feature ahead of the Games which are due to begin in Tokyo on August 24th. 

Simone Biles Withdraws From Individual All-Around Final

Simone Biles has withdrawn from the individual all-around final in Tokyo after pulling out of the women’s team final earlier this week.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist previously cited ‘wanting to focus’ on her mental health as the reason behind her withdrawal from the team final, stating: “After the performance I did, I just didn’t want to go on,” she said.

“I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now.

“We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.

“I don’t trust myself as much anymore. Maybe it’s getting older. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world.

“We’re not just athletes. We’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back.

“I didn’t want to go out and do something stupid and get hurt. ​I feel like a lot of athletes speaking up has really helped.

“It’s so big, it’s the Olympic Games. At the end of the day, we don’t want to be carried out of there on a stretcher.”

She will now be unable to defend her all-around Olympic title on Thursday, July 28th. She is also due to compete in the vault, uneven bars, floor and beam finals from August 1st onwards – but is yet to make an announcement about her participation in those events.

A statement from USA Gymnastics read: “Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals.

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritising her wellbeing. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”

8-time Olympian Oksana Chusovitina Rounds Off Career in Tokyo

46-year-old gymnast Oksana Chusovitina made headlines this week after she officially retired from her sport after competing in her eighth Olympic Games.

It was an outpouring of support for the Uzbekistan athlete as she received a standing ovation from those in the arena following her performance on vault.

Though her score of 14.166 wasn’t enough to secure her a spot in the final, Chusovitina walks away from the sport a record-holder as one of only four women to become 8-time Olympians in their respective sports.

Speaking to media after her event, she said: “It was really nice. I cried tears of happiness because so many people have supported me for a long time.

“I didn’t look at the results, but I feel very proud and happy. I’m saying goodbye to sports. It’s kind of mixed feelings.

“I feel very good to be here. But this will for sure be my last Olympics. I’m 46 years old. Nothing is going to change it. I’m alive, I’m happy, I’m here without any injuries, and I can stand on my own.”

Her first Games came in 1992 where she won Olympic gold.

Duffy Makes History, Wins Bermuda’s First Olympic gold medal

Triathlete Flora Duffy made history in Tokyo on Tuesday this week as she won Bermuda’s first ever Olympic gold medal.

The 33-year-old finished in a time of 1:55.36 ahead of second place finisher Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) who crossed the finish line in 1:56.50. In third was Katie Zaferes (USA) in 1:57.03.

Speaking after her win, Duffy said: “To be an Olympic champion has been my dream since I was a little girl.

“Going through my head was relief, coming into an Olympics as one of the favourites. There was a lot of pressure and expectation.

“I guess I also knew that I was Bermuda’s first medal hope in many many years and just something I wanted to achieve for myself and also for my country. I was definitely overwhelmed, I didn’t know what to do, what to think. It was just a really really special moment.

“Bermuda is a small country but very passionate about its sport. I am just so grateful that I could achieve a personal dream here, but it’s bigger than me.

“It is going to inspire the youth of Bermuda and everyone back home that competing on the world stage from a small island is really possible.”

Duffy also said that the year-long postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games was an advantage for her as she had more time to recover from some existing injuries she was nursing.

She previously finished in eighth place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and has nine World Championship titles to her name as well as a Commonwealth Games gold medal.

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Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
1 month ago

Manuel – OTS
Biles – OCS

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
1 month ago

Can you imagine what SwimSwam peanut gallery would have been like had they been foreign athletes?

Tomek
1 month ago

NBC should do some deep soul searching and determine if running ads emphasizing “perfection” every few minutes during pre-olympic period contributed to Simone mental struggles.

Little Mermaid
Reply to  Tomek
1 month ago

What about the millions the athletes make via contracts? Familiar with this aspect, they are aware of how much air time they will get! They sign the dotted line. It’s in the contract.

Maybe look toward the media and how much they make the public believe amd expect and must do! This effects some athletes and not others who are at the top of their game.

I think more and more athletes need the courage to step forward and not be Afraid to talk about it and get help, not let it get to the point it’s too late. It’s ok to get help and talk about it. Nothing to be embarrassed about!

Coach
Reply to  Little Mermaid
1 month ago

How many athletes at the Olympics are making millions of dollars (excluding NBA and a handful of golf/tennis players)?

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

I’m going to stop eating broccolini now.

Smith-Jacoby-Huske-Weitzeil
Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

I’m done with Uber Eats!

Swimmer
1 month ago

I have a severe lack of sympathy

Walter
Reply to  Swimmer
1 month ago

Says the person who can do none of what she has ever done.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Walter
1 month ago

12 keyboard warriors disliked this message. Simone Biles is a legend, and she’s also human. To compete as a gymnast is far more dangerous than swimming. Mental health comes first.

Vortsq
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Well said. Some of the comments on this site regarding things like this and also the blm movement and podium protests are always surprisingly right wing which is disappointing to see.

BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

comment image

DMSWIM
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

And where did that get her? She never competed again and looked miserable on the podium. The chew them up and spit them out model of the Karolyis was abusive and had lasting negative impacts on the athletes they coached. It’s not worth it.

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

>And where did that get her?
National sports hero
TV appearances
Professional career
Box of Wheaties
Legacy of someone who didn’t quit. Because that’s what quitters do.
Oh, and gold medal.

DMSWIM
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

And she could have had all of that and more if she could have stayed in the sport another 4 years. If you look at her wikipedia, she didn’t profit off of the fame for long:
Shortly after her feat, Strug participated in the Ice Capades and Disney’s World On Ice, then announced her retirement and enrolled in UCLA where she was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta women’s fraternity. As a professional, she could not compete in NCAA gymnastics events, so she worked for a time as team manager instead, a behind-the-scenes… Read more »

Rafael
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

That is a pretty ***** post.. for this guy she could go and inury herself seriously like Gomez and Mukhina did on the past, just to say she does not quit..

She had a mental block on a VT exercise, if she could not react as she did, there were big chances of breaking a foot, ankle, both knees or worst hitting her head

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago

>there were big chances of breaking a foot, ankle, both knees or worst hitting her head
All things that can happen in gymnastics regardless of one’s mental state.
Maybe hold competitions in a bouncy castle? I dunno.

JudgeNot
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

You can’t do what she does. I can’t do what she does. No other Olympic gymnasts can do what she does

If she thinks she cannot perform her routines safely, she’s right. The risks are enormous, and the actual cost to her team was significant (they would not have earned the silver medal with her scoring as poorly as she did on her vault).

You really oughta sit this one out. You’re commenting from a place of ignorance, and worse, a place entirely devoid of empathy and humanity.

Rafael
Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago

This kind of abusive perception on Gymnastics caused many gymnast to die/become paraplergic.. and some random douch**** come here to talk this??

Walter
Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago

It’s very easy for some people to criticize others who’ve achieved things they can never dream of. In Australia, they call it Tall Poppy Syndrome. Makes the losers feel better about themselves.

He said what?
Reply to  Walter
1 month ago

Very well said.

loyal
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

took the words right out of my mouth.

Jack
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

It’s an epic moment and a great story. But get serious. Strug absolutely should not have attempted that vault. Injured as she was, a broken neck was at least as likely as a gold medal.

Thank god it went the way it did, but how DARE you post that photo as though it should be the expectation we place on somebody.

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  Jack
1 month ago

>How DARE you post that photo as though it should be the expectation we place on somebody.
lol
Maybe you’ll like this pic bettercomment image

Walter
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

John Moffet was not risking his life with his injury.

Mediocre Swammer
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

I had to do a google search to even know what is going on here. So, John Moffett (after not being able to compete in the boycotted 1980 Olympics) tore a muscle in prelims of the breaststroke and competed in finals anyway. Great for him. But not comparable to a gymnast at all. If he further hurts himself, he can slow down and the worst thing that happens is a DQ. If something goes wrong with a gymnast’s routine (because their injury limited the height they got off the springboard, for example), the worst that can happen is severe injury, paralysis or even death. Also, no, I don’t think we should EXPECT an athlete to compete with an injury like… Read more »

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  Mediocre Swammer
1 month ago

Meh I will remember her as a quitter while someone who could have competed or would have competed was left at home. Feel free to think otherwise.

He said what?
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

WHAT THE F***?

DMSWIM
Reply to  Mediocre Swammer
1 month ago

Agreed Mediocre Swammer and let’s continue the analogy. Moffet ended up 5th with his injury. Imagine another American was 9th and could swim in the final if Moffet scratched. It would be the best thing for the county for him to scratch and give another American who was uninjured a chance to perform.
That’s what Biles did here. She knew she would not perform at a high level, so she stepped aside to let her teammates who could perform do so.

Mediocre Swammer
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

Or stepping aside for a teammate to be in the relay. Because that’s what the team title is similar to. Her scores would have been bad, so her leaving let someone else’s scores count (for the team) instead.

He said what?
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

What’s so funny with the childish “lol”?

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  He said what?
1 month ago

“lol” is internet shorthand for “laughing out loud”, which is what I was doing when someone wrote “dare” in all caps to emphasize their pearl-clutching outrage at my opinion.
See you at the finals session.

Coach
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

This is an awful example to use. Kerri Strugg was “encouraged” by two abusive coaches to continue on an injury, even though they would have won without her second vault, and then she was literally handed to a known sexual predator before she left the mat.

This abuse is exactly what we are trying to eradicate from youth sports. Let’s not glorify it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Coach
Katie
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

For those who don’t know: when Kerri was carried off the podium, she was handed to Larry Nassar. Yeah. Kerri herself regrets this vault because it ended her career and wishes she hadn’t done it.

FST
1 month ago

The circus around Biles is insane. And as a gymnast, she doesn’t have the luxury of competing in a relatively injury-safe sport, like Phelps e.g.
If she’s feeling pressured into performing insane stunts that she’s scared or unsure of, she was right to withdraw. I feel like her coaches should have done something about this earlier probably.
Because at the end of the day, she’s there now, choosing not to compete, and someone else is sitting at home instead of competing at the Olympic Games.
In a sport like gymnastics, where repeat Olympics are few and far between for many gymnasts (Chuso’s 8th Games notwithstanding), it’s probably a bitter pill to swallow for the girl(s) sitting at… Read more »

Walter
Reply to  FST
1 month ago

Who down votes this?

He said what?
Reply to  Walter
1 month ago

Know-it-all arm chair quarterbacks.

Sophie
1 month ago

On one hand, I think it’s great that athletes like Biles, Osaka, and numerous others are showing the world that mental health is a priority. I think they are prioritizing themselves while also spreading awareness globally.

On the other hand, I find it unfortunate that there are athletes who would have loved to compete at the Olympics, but even with a withdrawal, it is too late for them to compete now – especially in US gymnastics which has incredible depth.

I hope Biles is able to get the help she needs though, and all the best to her. Even without the numerous medals she could win at these Olympics, she is still the GOAT in gymnastics.

DMSWIM
Reply to  Sophie
1 month ago

Look up twisties. This is what happened to Simone. There was no way she could have predicted that would happen ahead of time. It’s much more similar to a physical injury than her just feeling too much pressure.

Little Mermaid
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

Listen to her interview more carefully! Twisties? BS

DMSWIM
Reply to  Little Mermaid
1 month ago

Ummm did you watch her last vault? She clearly got lost in the air and almost hurt herself on the landing. That’s the definition of twisties.

Little Mermaid
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

Thanks Karolyi!

This is deeper then twisties! This was happening long before the Olympics started. Listen to her interviews she had given very carefully!

DMSWIM
Reply to  Little Mermaid
1 month ago

I listened to the interview. My understanding of it was that she held it together before this and thought she could continue to do that. On her vault, she got lost in the air and barely avoided a catastrophic injury. That’s when she knew she had to withdraw.

Little Mermaid
Reply to  DMSWIM
1 month ago

This was happening way before her last vault go watch the videos! It started days ago in team competition

Dmswim
Reply to  Little Mermaid
1 month ago

I’ve watched the videos. While she was a bit off, she didn’t have the twistes at that point.

Mediocre Swammer
Reply to  Little Mermaid
1 month ago

It’s like “the yips.” They both have ridiculous names, but it doesn’t stop them from being real. With the yips, you end up missing putts; with “the twisties,” you can die.

DJTrockstoYMCA
Reply to  Sophie
1 month ago

We all can relate to pressure, stress, mental and physical pain. On one hand MANY athletes deal both with mental stress daily, on the other perhaps we should respect her as none of shave walked a mile in her shoes. At this time, best to show grace to a marvelous and troubled athlete.

Yozhik
Reply to  Sophie
1 month ago

What you said is very true. If something is wrong or not perfect with your mind it doesn’t matter any more what your muscles can do. The only problem with that is that it is hard to detect, diagnose and treat such a problem. If it is other parts of your body and the problem is not severe it is much easier to fix your shoulder, or broken elbow or hurt muscles.
The problems with the brain is completely different animal.
I know many cases when people faked mental issues to get some extra social assistance as handicapped person (housing, food , money, transportation, household and medical assistance, etc). It was so much spread in immigrant community that… Read more »

Tomek
Reply to  Yozhik
1 month ago

Yozhik, your dislike of Missy Franklin is legendary. Missy Franklin career was cut short due to reccurring back and shoulders problems, back spasms first came out of the blue during Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in 2014, shoulders problems bothered Missy during preparation for Rio olympics resulting in double shoulder surgery in March 2017 after she was diagnosed with bursitis earlier in January. She was one of the most successful USA swimmers contributing greatly to team USA success. You were always bothered by her happy and bubbly personality because according to you no one can be happy like Missy was all the time. I would like to know what makes you believe that Allison Schmitt and Michael Phelps mental problems are… Read more »

Tomek
Reply to  Sophie
1 month ago

I would not compare Osaka struggles with Biles…Osaka searched for spotlights advertising BLM movement at every possible occasion and then she could not handle routine questions from the press. She could politely refuse the honor of lighting up the Olympic flame since being in this position attracts additional media scrutiny and sets high expectations but she decided to go along. You cannot complain about terrible media and at the same time constantly search for attention.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tomek
Xman
1 month ago

I think more will come out in a year or so. Withdrawing was a must, the way she was having trouble had a serious injury risk. The way she landed on her last vault it looked like her shins would snap.

I wouldn’t be surprised if she got injured in the month leading up to trials and they tried to hold her together as best they could.

I hope she can bounce back next week for some individuals but at the same point I don’t want to see someone snap their legs or get paralyzed.

The Real AJC
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

Simone’s decision to withdraw was the only decision. If she stays in she risks serious injury and would be a detriment to the overall team performance. Some accuse her of being selfish, but it’s the exact opposite…it’s the most selfless act she could make…a true team player.