Simone Biles returns to Olympic competition — here's when to watch in Fort Worth
UPDATE 8-2-2021: Simone Biles will compete in the balance beam finals on Tuesday, August 3, according to Team USA. This comes after the four-time Olympic gold medalist withdrew from competition for more than a week to focus on her mental health and deal with a severe cases of "the twisties."
"We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow," USA Gymnastics declared in a statement, "Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can't wait to watch you both!"
The competition begins streaming live at 3 am CDT on the NBC Sports and Peacock apps. Coverage will also include men's parallel bars and high bar finals. According to NBC, the balance beam competition will begin at 3:50 am. Medals will be awarded immediately afterwards. It will then air in primetime at 7 pm on NBC. Here is more info on how to watch.
UPDATE 7-31-2021: Simone Biles has pulled out of Monday's floor exercise finals, Team USA has announced. A decision about Tuesday's balance beam final is expected to be announced Sunday.
UPDATE 7-30-2021: Simone Biles has withdrawn from event finals for vault and uneven bars, Team USA announced Friday night. "She will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam," they said in a statement.
American MyKayla Skinner, who earned the fourth-highest score on vault in qualifying, will replace Biles; USA's Jade Carey also qualified. Sunisa Lee will be the lone American gymnast to compete on uneven bars; no other teammate scored high enough in qualifying. Melanie de Jesus dos Santos of France will get Biles' spot on bars.
Vault and uneven bar finals take place Sunday, floor exercise on Monday, and balance beam on Tuesday.
Biles posted on Instagram on Thursday night that she was still experiencing "the twisties,” said her "mind and body are simply not in sync, and that she "literally can not tell up from down."
UPDATE 7-28-2021: Simone Biles will not compete in the Olympic all-around finals, USA Gymnastics says. Jade Carey will take her place alongside teammate Sunisa Lee.
Will she or won't she defend her gold medal in the Olympic gymnastics all-around competition? That's the question no one saw coming about Simone Biles, but it's now the question being asked around the world as the most elite Olympian on the globe withdrew from the U.S. gymnastics team final in Tokyo.
The United States' team, including Biles' Houston-area training mateJordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee, and Grace McCallum, won a silver medal in Tuesday’s women’s gymnastics competition after Biles pulled out of the competition after just one event.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist, known as the “GOAT,” left the contest due to an unspecified issue.
“Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue,” reads a statement from USA Gymnastics. “She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions."”
The 24-year-old Spring, Texas resident had qualified for all six finals and was expected to go on to compete in individual all-around, floor exercise, beam, uneven bars, and vault. She won her seventh National Championship in Fort Worth last month and is scheduled to return to Dickies Arena as part of a "Gold Over America" tour in October.
After the medal ceremony, she revealed to Today host Hoda Kotb that her prospects for the rest of the competition, including the all-around meet later this week, are uncertain.
"Physically, I feel good, I'm in shape," she told Kotb. "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."
When Kotb asked her specifically about Thursday's individual all-around competition, Biles said, "We're gonna take it day by day, and we're just gonna see."
Undoubtedly, Biles was the favorite in these games and has set the standard for those competing against her. She is widely considered the greatest gymnast of all time and has been the biggest draw for the Tokyo 2020 games thus far.
On Tuesday July 27, she competed in Team USA’s first vault rotation. She landed the vault then huddled with a trainer, and later exited the competition with a team doctor.
When she returned, Biles removed her gear, hugged her teammates, and donned a jacket and sweatpants — a clear sign she was done for the day.
In her interview with Kotb, Biles said she told her teammates, "'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.'"
Her Monday, July 26 Instagram post reveals the pressures the young superstar endures as she represents the U.S. and aspiring gymnasts everywhere:
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. 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!Now, Houston and the world will watch to see when and if the GOAT can spring back into action.
This is a breaking news story; CultureMap will update with details.
Stephanie Allmon Merry contributed to this story.