Simone Biles Spoke About 'Weight of the World' Pressure Before Olympics Exit

Simone Biles opened up about feeling extreme pressure ahead of competing in the Tokyo Olympics earlier this week.

The Team USA gymnast has now officially pulled out of the competition after struggling on her opening vault.

The 24-year-old withdrew from the women's team final at the Tokyo Games on Tuesday due to an unspecified medical issue, the team has confirmed.

Amid rumors Biles left the competition due to a mental health issue, USA Gymnastics released a statement saying her she had withdrawn for medical reasons.

"Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue," the statement reads. "She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions."

However, a Team USA coach reportedly later confirmed during an NBC broadcast that the four-time Olympic champion pulled out due to a "mental issue she is having." The reason is not believed to be injury-related.

On Monday, the gymnast opened up about the pressure she was facing as the Games got underway.

Sharing an Instagram post from Japan, Biles said that the "weight of the world" was on her shoulders.

"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," she captioned the post.

"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!"

Biles has since spoken publicly after her exit from the women's team final on Tuesday, where she opened up about her emotional state and confirmed that she has not suffered any injuries that prevented her from competing.

"Physically, I feel good, I'm in shape," she told Hoda Kotb on the Today show after her withdrawal. "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."

As for Thursday's individual competition, Biles said she plans to "take it day by day" before deciding.

She also spoke about reassuring her teammates when she pulled out.

"They were freaking out," Biles said. "They were like crying, and I was like, 'You guys need to relax, you're gonna be fine without me. Go out there, kick some butt just like you've done in training, and just lay it out on the floor and see what happens.'"

Laurie Hernandez, a teammate of Biles on the 2016 U.S. women's gymnastics team, today acknowledged the pressure that Biles was under.

"The whole globe is watching her," Hernandez said during a Today show appearance. "The pressure is immense."

Simone Biles
Team 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