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The ‘shocking’ moment teammate found out she was replacing Simone Biles
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Meet the US Olympian tasked with replacing Simone Biles
Simone Biles hinted that the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of Larry Nassar was, in part, behind her shock decision to bow out of the all-around competition — with the GOAT sharing a message on social media from a fellow gymnast that defended her decision and cited the unimaginable trauma she endured.
The message shared on Biles’ Instagram story and retweeted on her Twitter account are the first posts made to her social media accounts since USA Gymnastics announced earlier Wednesday the Olympian won’t compete in the all-around competition after suddenly dropping out of the team finals on Tuesday.
Biles’ apparent endorsement of the message, penned by former gymnast Andrea Orris, shines a light on what the athlete is going through and the potential factors that led her to drop out of the competition, which she is yet to publicly comment about.
“It makes me so frustrated to see comments about Simone not being mentally tough enough or quitting on her team,” the message states.
“We are talking about the same girl who was molested by her team doctor throughout her entire childhood and teen years, won the world all-around championship title while passing a kidney stone, put her body through an extra year of training through the pandemic, added so much difficulty to her routines that the judges literally do not know how to properly rate her skills bc they are so ahead of her time,” the statement continues.
“All of this while maintaining her responsibilities to her endorsement deals, the media, personal relationships, etc. and some people can still honestly say ‘Simone Biles is soft. She is a quitter’
“That girl has endured more trauma by the age of 24 than most people will ever go through in a lifetime.”
In 2018, Biles revealed she was one of the more than 100 female gymnasts who credibly accused Nassar of molestation. She said the trauma brought about suicidal thoughts and made it difficult to return to the famed USA Gymnastics training facility formerly run by Bela Karolyi where much of the abuse occurred.
“It is impossibly difficult to relive these experiences and it breaks my heart even more to think that as I work towards my dream of competing in Tokyo 2020, I will have to continually return to the same training facility where I was abused,” Biles said on Twitter at the time.
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Three days later, the facility was permanently shut down by USA Gymnastics.
During the team finals on Tuesday, Biles lost herself in mid-air while completing her vault routine and failed to complete a double and a half turn — a mistake that could’ve led to “career-ending” or even “life-threatening” injuries, Orris wrote.
Following the stumble, Biles consulted with US team doctor Marcia Faustin and decided to sit out for the rest of the contest.
“It’s terrifying,” Orris wrote of Biles’ vault mistake.
“She could have been severely injured getting lost in the air like that. The fact she somehow landed on her feet shows her experience and is incredible. The margin for error on a skill like that is insanely low. A very small wrong move, and career-ending or even worse, life-threatening injuries can occur.”
Orris wrote given Biles’ track record, the fact she took herself out of the competition “on her own merit” means her internal struggle “has to be insurmountable and should be taken seriously.”
“Despite what she’s able/choosing to articulate to the public in interviews, we will never know or fully understand her personal choices and struggles. She does not deserve to have any judgement passed — number 1, because she’s a human, and number 2, after all she’s done for the sport,” Orris continued.
“Plus all that she’s had to endure because of this sport, and the joke of an organization who protected her predator instead of her and her teammates for years,” the athlete wrote, referencing USA Gymnastics and criticism they received for not adequately protecting athletes from Nassar’s abuse, and potentially even covering it up.
Jade Carey will be taking Biles’ place at the all-around contest on Thursday evening.
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