TOKYO — Reigning Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles is out of the team finals. Initial reports were that she suffered an injury during the vault.
According to announcers on the NBC telecast, Biles’ coach reported “it’s a mental issue that Simone is having” and that the Olympic champion is not injured.
The 24-year-old U.S. star, considered to be the greatest gymnast of all time, huddled with a trainer after landing her vault. She then exited the competition floor with the team doctor.
Biles returned several minutes later with her right leg wrapped. She took off her bar grips, and hugged teammates Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee and Jordan Chiles before putting on a jacket and sweatpants.
The Americans will be forced to finish the rest of the competition without her, severely hampering their bid to claim a third straight Olympic title.
Biles arrived in Tokyo as the unquestioned star of the Games but struggled, at least by her high standards, during qualifying.