WASHINGTON — Reigning Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles opened up on social media about the pressures of competing in the Tokyo Olympics, just one day before having to withdraw from the team finals after experiencing a "medical issue."
Biles arrived in Tokyo as the unquestioned star of the Games but struggled, at least by her high standards, during qualifying.
The 24-year-old U.S. star, considered to be the greatest gymnast of all time, shared on Instagram Monday that she feels like she has "the weight of the world on my shoulders at times."
"It wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it," Biles said in her post about the preliminary gymnastics competition on Monday.
"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!"
She added: "The Olympics is no joke!"
Biles also mentions in her post how appreciative she is to have her family's support, even though they were only able to virtually watch her compete due to the ongoing pandemic.
During her vault on Tuesday at the team finals, Biles was supposed to do an "Amanar,” a vault that begins with a roundoff back handspring onto the table followed by 2 1/2 twists. She seemed to change her mind in mid-air, doing just 1 1/2 twist instead.
She walked off the podium and was tended to by team doctor Marcia Faustin before making her way out of the arena.
USA Gymnastics did not specify the nature of Biles' medical issue, saying in a statement she “will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions."
“I didn’t want to go into any of the other events second-guessing myself,” Biles said Tuesday morning after the finals. “So, I thought it would be better if I took a step back and let these girls go out there and do their job.”
Biles won five medals in Rio de Janeiro five years ago and earned the right to win as many as six in Tokyo after making five finals.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.