Simone Biles is opting not to defend her Olympic vault title, pulling out of Sunday's event finals for both vault and uneven bars while she focuses on her mental health. The 24-year-old six-time Olympic medalist removed herself from competition during the team finals on Tuesday and sat out Thursday's all-around final as well, per the AP. Biles said on social media on Friday that she's dealing with what is defined as the "twisties": the sudden inability to feel comfortable while twisting in midair. Biles said she's battled the issue before, but typically only when it comes to vault and floor exercise. This time around, it's a problem on all four apparatuses. She's still scheduled to compete in both the balance beam and floor exercise finals next week.
MyKayla Skinner, who had the fourth-highest score in vault during qualifications, will compete in vault finals for the US alongside Jade Carey, who finished with the second highest score. Skinner initially didn't make the vault finals because International Gymnastics Federation rules allow each country a maximum of two athletes per event in the finals. Biles had been working on performing the Yurchenko double pike vault in Tokyo. She unveiled the vault—one never done by a woman in competition—in May. If she'd been able to successfully land the vault, which requires the gymnast to do a roundoff and back handspring onto the table before two backward somersaults with her hands clasped behind her legs, the vault would then carry her name in the sport's Code of Points. USA Gymnastics says Biles will continue to be evaluated daily to determine her potential readiness for future competitions.
(Read more Simone Biles