Following her withdrawal from the women's gymnastics team competition on Tuesday, Simone Biles addressed the shocking decision and "all of those demons" behind it.
"This Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself when I came in — and I felt like I was still doing it for other people," Biles said following the team event. "So that just, like, hurts my heart because doing what I love has been kind of taken away from me to please other people," she continued, per The New York Times.
Biles told reporters she was "second guessing myself," and thought it "best to let the girls do it" instead of risking the team's chances of medaling at all, reports The Wall Street Journal. "I didn't want to go out there and do something dumb and get hurt. It's not worth it," she went on. "We're not just athletes, we're people." Earlier in the week, Biles had opened up on Instagram about feeling with "the weight of the world" on her shoulders.
"It's been really stressful this Olympic Games ... as a whole. Not having an audience...there are a lot of different variables going into it," Biles continued on Tuesday. She encouraged other athletes to "put mental health first" to optimize enjoyment and success, adding that focusing on yourself "shows how strong of a competitor and person that you really are."
The Olympic champion is scheduled to compete in the individual all-around on Thursday, but will take that decision "a day at a time," per the Journal. "At the end of the day, I have to do what was right for me," Biles said. "It just sucks that it happened at the Olympic Games."