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Local reaction after Olympic gymnast Simone Biles withdraws from team event

With Simone Biles out, U.S. women's gymnastics team wins silver behind Russian Olympic Committee
Posted at 6:59 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 18:59:09-04

Gymnastics is a part of Adrianna Wagner's life for at least 15 years.

The 17 year-old is not alone in loving the sport at The Gymnastics Revolution in West Palm Beach and admiring Olympic gymnast Simone Biles.

"Every gymnast wants to be her. If we are being completely honest, she really is amazing and we've been watching her these years trying to get on top and we are just so proud of her," she said.

But today, Biles pulled out of the team event. During a news conference she said, "I just felt like it would be a little bit better to take a back seat and work on my mindfulness. I knew that the girls would do an absolutely great job."

David Wagner is with The Gymnastics Revolution.

"Competing at a high level in any sport is stressful. It's something that can definitely take a mental toll on people. As they train from a young age, we try and instill the ability for them to deal with it, and understand it, and be able to move forward and use some of the different that they might have to make sure they can compete well," he said.

Psychologist Dr. Rachel Needle also reacted. "I think this sends a very powerful message. She is prioritizing herself, her mental health and recognizing the importance and her need to take a break. So when you are not in the right mental state it can lead to more injuries and I think it's a really important thing that she was able to recognize that," she said.

"It's better to be safe than sorry. If she would have continued, she could have potentially had a serious injury which would have taken her out of the event finals", said Wagner.