Source - Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles has been pulled out of the team final because of a 'mental issue' after just one event following a shock error on vault that resulted in her lowest score in years - days after she spoke out about her struggle to deal with the pressure of the Olympics.
The 24-year-old - who had been expected to lead the US to gold in the team event - was withdrawn from the lineup after flubbing her vault in the opening minutes of the team final competition in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Shortly after the dramatic error, Simone left the stadium with her trainer and was closely followed by medical staff - sparking fears that she had sustained a serious injury. ...
Her coach confirmed to reporters on the ground that the athlete has not been injured, explaining that she had been withdrawal from the final was the result of a 'mental issue', although USA Gymnastics later released a statement blaming the decision on a 'medical issue' while noting that Simone would be 'assessed for competitiveness' before the individual finals. ...
The shock error and remarkable decision to pull Simone out of the competition comes just days after the athlete opened up about her struggle to cope with the pressure of this year's Olympics.
Following the team qualifiers - during which the US put on a very lackluster performance that saw them qualifying in second place, while Russia finished in first - Simone took to Instagram to share her upset over her performance, while revealing that she 'feels like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders'.
This is just one amateur sociologists theory, but: It looks like the nonstop media attention of Simone Biles finally broke her.
I'll admit that what I don't know about gymnastics could fill the Library of Congress. But when you're married to someone who's an expert on a certain subject, after all those hours of sharing a couch with them, you pick up some things, just through osmosis. My athletic Irish Rose has been glued to pre-Olympics gymnastics events all year and beyond. And from the amount I've caught just from being under the same roof (though often in the next room) as her, the coverage of Simone Biles has been nothing less than insufferable.
Remember Tiger Woods in his prime? How, even on those rare times he'd be 20 strokes off the lead and playing in the earlier groups, the networks would nevertheless cut to every, single shot he took because they understood even non-competitive Tiger meant eyeballs on screens? Well even Tiger overexposure has nothing on Simone overexposure. Viewers are constantly reminded she's the GOAT. Every move she makes, she makes on camera. When she's warming up. When she's hydrating. When she's sitting around talking to her teammates. Even while someone else is competing, the electronic eye is never not focused on her.
I swear I saw one event where they focused on her, went on and on about her historic GOATiness and her amazing ability to role model generations of aspiring young female athletes through her transcendent awesomeness or whatever, while she was sitting on the bench texting. Meaning, while she was acting like a normal 24-year-old. Which, thanks to her sport and the media coverage of that sport, she is never allowed to be. I don't know if it's true about Biles, but so many girls in this sport are raised like veal calves to do this one thing with their lives. And eventually there has to be a breaking point.
For some people, the hotter the spotlight is on them, the more they thrive. They love the attention. Even crave it. Tiger was certainly one. Jordan. Ali. But every human being has their limit. And it would appear that Biles reached hers. The sad thing of it is, news this big will only increase the amount of attention on her, and it's going to slam more weight down on her shoulders. Which will produce more coverage. Like a snake eating its tale. NBC and all the other outlets have built her up to the point they can't afford to look away. She was the story of the Games, and her pulling out of the team competition - forcing her teammates into disciplines they didn't expect to compete in - is now THE story.
I'd say "Stay tuned," but you won't have to. The coverage will be unavoidable. Sad.