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Simone Biles withdraws from individual all-around final, citing mental health

Simone Biles competes on the vault at the women's artistic team all-around finals at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games on Tuesday.  Biles missed her landing and then pulled out of the team competition after this vault. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI
Simone Biles competes on the vault at the women's artistic team all-around finals at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games on Tuesday.  Biles missed her landing and then pulled out of the team competition after this vault. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

July 28 (UPI) -- U.S. star athlete Simone Biles will not compete in Thursday's individual all-around gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics due to mental health concerns, USA Gymnastics said Wednesday.

"We wholeheartedly support Simone's decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being," USA Gymnastics said in a statement. "Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many."

The statement from the U.S. gymnastics body was published to Twitter after Biles, 24, withdrew from the women's team gymnastics competition on Tuesday.

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The surprise withdrawal occurred after Biles had completed the first rotation on the vault, citing mental health issues. Team USA earned silver behind Russia, which finished three points ahead of them.

"Physically, I feel good, I'm in shape," Biles told NBC's Today show in an interview on Tuesday after exiting the competition. "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."

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USA Gymnastics said Jade Carey, 21, who scored ninth-highest in qualifiers, will participate in Biles' place.

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The organization added that Biles will continue to be under evaluation to determine if she will compete in next week's individual event finals.

Widely regarded as the greatest gymnast in history, Biles has been vocal about the pressure she has been under during these Olympic Games.

On Instagram earlier this week, Biles wrote that at times she feels the weight of the world on her shoulders.

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"I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn't affect me but damn sometimes it's hard," she wrote.

Biles has won six Olympic medals in her two appearances at the Games, including four gold, one for all-around champion, which she won in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, and was hoping to repeat in Tokyo.

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From left to right, China's silver medalist Xijing Tang, China's gold medalist Chenchen Guan and the United States' bronze medalist Simone Biles pose during the awards ceremony for the balance beam individual apparatus final on August 3. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

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