San Francisco Chronicle
Biles withdraws from two events
American gymnast Simone Biles won’t compete in event finals in the vault and the uneven bars. Her status for two other disciplines is undecided. Story,
TOKYO — Simone Biles withdrew Saturday from Sunday’s event finals in vault and uneven bars and will continue to receive daily evaluations to determine whether she will compete on floor exercise and balance beam later in the Olympic Games.
USA Gymnastics said MyKayla Skinner will take Biles’ place in the vault final along with Jade Carey, who was second to Biles in event qualifications.
“We remain in awe of Simone, who continues to handle this situation with courage and grace, and all of the athletes who have stepped up during these unexpected circumstances,” USA Gymnastics said.
The federation said Biles’ decision came in consultation with medical staff.
Vault, on which Biles won a gold medal in 2016, and uneven bars are scheduled Sunday night in Tokyo. Floor exercise, in which Biles won gold in Rio de Janeiro, is Monday, and balance beam, on which she won silver five years ago, is Tuesday.
Biles discussed her difficulties in determining her orientation in space in an Instagram discussion Friday.
She said she continues to suffer from a malady known by gymnasts as the “twisties,” in which the mind and body are not in sync.
“Sometimes I can’t even fathom twisting,” she wrote.
“I seriously cannot comprehend how to twist. Strangest and weirdest thing as well as feeling. Literally cannot tell up from down. What’s even scarier is since I have no idea where I am in the air, I also have NO idea how I’m going to land or what I’m going to land on. Head, hands, feet, back.”
Biles said the disorientation led to her decision to withdraw from the team event, since subsequent errors could have cost the U.S. team a medal.
Biles, 24, withdrew from the women’s team final on Tuesday after she struggled to control her air space orientation on vault, the night’s opening event.
The U.S. women went on to win a silver medal.
Biles also withdrew on Thursday from the individual allaround, which she won in 2016. Sunisa Lee of St. Paul, Minn., won that event.