As news of Simone Biles’ exit from the women’s gymnastics team final at the Tokyo Olympics sent shock waves through the sports world, fellow gymnast Aly Raisman spoke out in support of her former teammate.
“First of all, I feel sick to my stomach, it’s just horrible,” Aly shared in a July 27 interview with the Today show. “I know that all of these athletes dream of this moment for their whole entire lives, and I’m just completely devastated. I am obviously so worried and just hoping that Simone is okay.”
The four-time gold medalist competed in her first rotation on vault on Tuesday, July 27, according to NBC. However, after landing, Simone was spotted walking off the competition floor alongside a trainer and teammate Jordan Chiles stepped in for her. In a statement, USA Gymnastics confirmed that the 24-year-old athlete withdrew due to a “medical issue” and will be assessed daily for future competitions.
“I am also just thinking of the mental impact this has to have on Simone,” Aly continued. “It’s just so much pressure.”
While also adding that she is “praying that [Simone] will be able to compete in the all-around final,” Aly also emphasized that Simone’s health should come first and foremost, stating, “She is human, and I think sometimes people forget that.” During the interview, Aly also speculated that Biles may have become “lost in the air” during a maneuver or may have gotten injured beforehand, which is “very common.”
Gymnast McKayla Skinner also spoke to the Today show following the news. “My heart broke for her; I can’t imagine what she’s going through,” she shared. “I don’t really know what happened…I’m not sure if she hurt something recently.”
Although Simone is out of the team competition, she is still set to compete in the individual all-around competition on Thursday, July 29.
Following her interview with Aly, Today show host, Hoda Kotb, tweeted, “Someone said it best. @Simone_Biles already won. She is a class act. Withdrew from team competition after vault…stayed and cheered on her teammates…got them chalk for their hands…encouraged…hugged them. She already won. Congrats on the silver medal!”
Other celebs including Andy Cohen, Holly Robinson Peete, Loni Love and more sent words of encouragement for Simone through social media. Take a look for yourself below.