Simone Biles teammates have spoken out following her shocking withdrawal from the team and all-around finals.
Grace McCallum, 18, and Jordan Chiles, 20, have defended Biles’ decision to pull out in order to ‘focus on her mental health.’
In an interview with Today Show, Chiles praised the 24-year-old for putting her health and safety above anything else.
“She’s Simone for a reason. She’s not a quitter. You will never see Simone go out there and not do what she knows she can do,” Chiles told Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Korb.
But she also admitted that she was left reeling by the news of her teammate’s decision to pull out from the final as she was forced to compete in two more events to fill the gap.
“I knew in my body that I could pull out everything I had,” she continued. “I did have to fill some humungous shoes but I did it for a reason, I did it for her. And she was there with us the whole time.”
McCallum, who competed on the uneven bars after Biles decided to pull out of the final, admitted that she was left ‘on the verge of tears’ by the news, adding that pressure was placed on her and their other two teammates.
“It was a lot of pressure, my heart was beating about a million miles an hour and I was on the verge of tears,” she revealed.
“I just knew I had to do my gymnastics, nothing more, nothing less.”
Two of Biles’ teammates were forced to take her place in the balance beam, uneven bars, and floor exercise events.
The team ended up finishing more than three points behind the Russian athletes.
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