Simone Biles feeling ‘weight of the world’ after Olympic performance

Simone Biles and the U.S. women’s gymnastics team unexpectedly struggled in Sunday’s qualifiers – and the four-time gold medalist is beginning to feel the pressure.

“It wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it,” Biles wrote in an Instagram post on Monday morning. “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The Olympics is no joke!”

Simone Biles on the balance beam.
Simone Biles on the balance beam.
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The Americans entered the Games as odds-on favorites, touted as perhaps the best gymnastics team in history. Yet by posting a 170.562, the U.S. squad only managed the second-best cumulative score in qualifying, with the team representing the Russian Olympic Committee finishing more than a point ahead at 171.629.

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Biles contributed to her team’s struggles with a slew of uncharacteristic errors. In the floor routine, she finished in second place after falling off the mat and going out of bounds following a tumbling pass. She finished seventh in balance beam after requiring extra steps to finish.

Biles, though, still finished first overall for the all-around competition. On Tuesday, she’ll have a chance to start anew amidst mounting pressure in the finals, where she will compete in all six events.