Even in a tournament that delivers plenty of shocks and upsets, this was quite something. The best gymnast of all time, a pint-sized powerhouse of a woman who could perform feats like no other, was pulling out.
No, she wasn’t sick. No, she hadn’t injured herself. The pressure had simply become too much. And Simone Biles found herself making headlines not for the sheer incredulity of what she can do but because she simply couldn’t go on any longer.
The 24-year-old star of Team USA had seemed off from the start. She wobbled a bit on the beam during the team competition and failed to nail her landing. Nothing major, but for Simone it was odd. She was at the top of her game and she went into Tokyo 2020 expected to triumph in all her events.