KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Simone Biles addressed the mental strain of the Olympic gymnastics competition in a media availability Tuesday morning U.S. time.
Team USA secured a silver medal, but that was after Biles pulled out of the competition following a disappointing appearance on the vault.
"I felt like it would be better to take a back seat," she said to reporters.
Biles says candidly: "Today has been really stressful." Team had a morning workout, and then during the 5 1/2 hour wait, said she was shaking, "never felt like this before...Once I came out here, I was like, no the mental is not there. I had to let the girls do it."— Michele Steele (@MicheleSteele) July 27, 2021
She said she didn't want to risk the team's standing because of her mistakes.
"Emotions were all over the place, but look, they did it without me and they're Olympic silver medalists," Biles added.
She addressed what caused her to pull out of the competition, which many suspected was an injury after a rough landing.
Biles said it is not an injury, but rather the stress of the competition that pushed her to make the decision.
"It's been a long week, a long Olympics process, a long year. I think we're a little too stressed out," she explained. "We should be out here having fun and that's just not the case."
Teammates Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum kept pace with the Russian Olympic Committee after Biles withdrew but ultimately could not clinch another gold for Team USA.