Aly Raisman Says Simone Biles 'Doing the Best She Can' After US Gymnast Exits Olympic Finals

Former Team USA gymnast Aly Raisman is sending support to former teammate Simone Biles after the four-time Olympic gold medalist pulled out of the team finals Tuesday at the Tokyo Games.

"I think that Simone is the biggest story going into the Olympics, so this is just—it's really, really devastating," Raisman said in an interview with TODAY. "But I think it's also just really important to think about how much pressure has been on her, and there's only so much that someone can take. She's human, and I think sometimes people forget that. And Simone, just like everyone else, is doing the best that she can."

Biles, who is the most decorated American gymnast of all time, withdrew from the women's gymnastics team finals on Tuesday, opening the path for the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to take home gold.

The 24-year-old Biles dropped out after faltering on her opening vault. USA Gymnastics said she was pulling out "due to a medical issue."

"She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions," the national governing body of sport said in a statement.

Simone Biles Aly Raisman USA Gymnastics Olympics
Former Team USA gymnast Aly Raisman said she felt "horrible" for former teammate Simone Biles after Biles withdrew from the team finals at the Tokyo Games on Tuesday. Above, Raisman and Biles pose for photographs on the podium after winning silver and gold at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on August 16, 2016. Alex Livesey/Stringer

Biles had faced immense pressure to help the U.S. dominate in the sport of gymnastics in Tokyo. Earlier this week, she said she felt the "weight of the world on her shoulders" going into her second Olympics.

In 2016, Biles made history in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, becoming the first female U.S. gymnast to win four gold medals in one Olympics.

Raisman, who captained the 2016 gymnastics team on which Biles competed, said her former teammate is facing "more pressure than any other gymnast I've ever seen in my lifetime."

"It's horrible," Raisman said. "I know that all of these athletes dream of this moment for their whole entire lives, and so I'm just completely devastated. I am obviously so worried and just hoping that Simone is OK."

"I also am just thinking about the mental impact that this has to have on Simone," she continued. "It's just so much pressure, and I've been watching how much pressure has been on her in the months leading up to the Games, and it's just devastating. I feel horrible."

In a huge upset for the U.S., the ROC took home gold in the dramatic finals, ending American domination of the event for more than a decade. The U.S. won silver and Britain won bronze.

The ROC's large margin of victory, 3.432 points, signaled that no single mistake, including Biles' vault, was responsible for Team USA's second-place finish.

Raisman said she wasn't sure why Biles struggled to stick a landing earlier in the competition but said it's common for gymnasts to get lost in the air during their stunts.

"Sometimes if you're trying to do three twists on floor, sometimes you might just breathe the wrong way, or when you're taking off, the lights from the ceiling get into your eye and you just get confused," the 27-year-old retired gymnast said.

"I think people forget when we're doing gymnastics, the stuff we're doing is so difficult, and I know someone like Simone makes it look so easy, but I think people forget sometimes we're human and sometimes we get confused."

Raisman said she'll be "praying" for Biles in hopes that she'll be able to compete in the individual all-around finals later this week.

Updated 07/27/2021, 10:35 a.m. ET: This story has been updated with more information.