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Olympic champion Simone Biles "super frustrated" after pulling out of team finals

Simone Biles exits Olympic final over mental health
Simone Biles exits Olympic team final to focus on her mental health 02:10

Olympic champion Simone Biles said Tuesday she was "super frustrated" after pulling out of the gymnastics team finals as she deals with the emotional toll of competing in Tokyo. The team earned a silver medal, ending their bid for a third straight Olympic title.

Biles told NBC's "Today" that she withdrew from the team final because of the emotional toll associated with competing in the Olympics, rather than a physical injury.

"Physically, I feel good, I'm in shape," she said. "Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment. Coming here to the Olympics and being the head star isn't an easy feat, so we're just trying to take it one day at a time and we'll see."

Biles left her status to compete in individual events, which begin Thursday, up in the air.  She told media that the team will have Wednesday morning off and said it will be a "good mental rest."

After landing her vault earlier, she huddled with her trainer and exited the competition floor with the team doctor. She returned with her right leg wrapped. Teammate Jordan Chiles replaced Biles and Team USA was forced to finish the rest of the team's final without her. 

Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Day 4
Simone Biles of Team United States stumbles upon landing after competing in vault during the Women's Team Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 27, 2021. Getty Images

USA Gymnastics said earlier in a statement that Biles has withdrawn from the team final because of a medical issue. "She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions," USA Gymnastics said. 

Biles cheered on Team USA teammates and even congratulated members of the Russian Olympic Committee, which won gold. 

She told Today that she was "super frustrated" for pulling out, but "super proud" of her teammates. Biles called her teammates "incredibly brave & talented" in an Instagram post. 

"I'll forever be inspired by your determination to not give up and to fight through adversity! They stepped up when I couldn't. thanks for being there for me and having my back! forever love y'all."

Biles, considered to be the best gymnast of all-time, received an outpouring of support online after pulling from the team final. 

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland said in a statement that Biles has "made us so proud." 

"Proud of who you are as a person, teammate and athlete," Hirshland said. "We applaud your decision to prioritize your mental wellness over all else, and offer you the full support and resources of our Team USA community as you navigate the journey ahead."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Twitter that Biles deserves "gratitude and support." 

"Still the GOAT and we are all just lucky to be able to see her in action," she wrote. 

Andy Cohen, host and executive producer of "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen," tweeted his encouragement. 

Katelyn Ohashi, once a top college gymnast, said Biles was a "remarkable human."

After withdrawing on Tuesday, Biles offered advice to other athletes dealing with mental health issues. 

"Put mental health first because if you don't then you're not going to enjoy your sport and you're not going to succeed as much as you want to," she said. "So, it's ok sometimes to sit out the big competitions to focus on yourself." 

"It shows how strong a person and competitor you really are, rather than just battle through it," she added.

USA's Simone Biles looks on during the artistic gymnastics women's team final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on July 27, 2021. LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

On Monday, after a tough start in qualifiers, Biles shared on Instagram that the pressure of living up to her past performances has taken a toll on her mentally. 

"It wasn't an easy day or my best but I got through it. I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times," Biles wrote on Monday. "I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn't affect me but damn sometimes it's hard hahaha! The Olympics is no joke! BUT I'm happy my family was able to be with me virtually. They mean the world to me!" 

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