TOKYO, Japan — Simone Biles said she knew her teammates would do the job when she took a step back from hers.
“I just felt like it would be a little bit better to take a backseat, to work on my mindfulness, and I knew the girls would do an absolutely great job,” she said during a news conference with her teammates following the decision. “I didn’t want to risk the team a medal because of my screwups.”
With Biles watching from the sidelines, Team USA was able to win silver in the women gymnastics team event at the Tokyo Olympics. A team of Russian athletes won gold in the event for the first time in nearly three decades.
During the news conference, Biles – who is considered perhaps the greatest of all time in her sport – said the Tokyo Olympics have been different, and her decision to drop out was not motivated by an unknown injury.
> Watch the video player below for the full news conference with Biles and her teammates, Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum.
“It’s been really stressful this Olympic games, just as a whole, not having an audience, it’s been a long week,” Biles said. “It’s been a process, jut a long year, lots of different variables, and I think we’re a little bit too stressed out, we should be out here having fun and sometimes that’s not the case.”
She said the team has Wednesday morning off, and she’ll spend it doing something other than practicing, and maybe even watching TikToks.
“Today has been really stressful,” Biles said Tuesday. “We had a workout this morning, it went ok, and then that 5.5-hour wait, I was shaking, trying to take a nap, I came out here trying to have fun … then the warmup in the back didn’t go well and I was like ‘no, the mental is not there,’ so I needed to let the girls go out there and just focus on myself.”
Biles emphasized her teammates’ resilience after she made her decision, and was nothing but complimentary.
“I didn’t do my job, they came out and stepped up and they did their job and more,” she said.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Latest from 9NEWS