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Athletes offer support after Simone Biles withdraws from Olympics team final

Former Olympians Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez and Adam Rippon expressed their support after Biles withdrew from the women's gymnastics team final.
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Family members, media professionals and former athletes expressed their support for Simone Biles after she withdrew from the U.S. Olympics women's gymnastics team final Tuesday.

After the four-time Olympic gold medalist competed in Team USA's first rotation on vault, she huddled with a trainer and exited the floor with the team doctor. Biles was expected to compete on the uneven bars, but Jordan Chiles was subbed in, later taking home silver with Team USA members Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum.

USA Gymnastics said Biles withdrew from the team final because of a medical issue. Her coach clarified that “physically she is fine. But she is done for the night."

Many athletes, including former Olympians, came out in support of Biles' decision to withdraw from the day's event, citing overwhelming pressure.

Aly Raisman, a former Team USA gymnast who won three Olympic gold medals, said on the "TODAY" show that she felt "sick to her stomach" about Biles' exit.

“I think that Simone is the biggest story going into the Olympics, so this is just, it’s really, really devastating,” she said. “But I think it’s also just really important to think about how much pressure has been on her, and there’s only so much that someone can take."

"She’s human, and I think sometimes people forget that. And Simone, just like everyone else, is doing the best that she can,” Raisman said.

Former colleague Laurie Hernandez echoed Raisman, saying the worldwide spotlight was stressful.

"There is so much pressure on this woman to go out and to dominate and win the U.S. all these medals," she said of Biles. "At the end of the day, she is a human being. I'm really proud of her."

Hernandez added they wanted to give Biles space while providing her with their unwavering support.

The gymnasts weren't the only Olympians to come out in support of Biles.

Former Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon offered a few words: “I can’t imagine the pressure Simone has been feeling. Sending her SO much love. It easy to forget she’s still human. WE LOVE YOU.”

Biles' younger sister, Adria, weighed in on her decision, as well.

“Y’all are all about mental health until it no longer benefits you.. i can’t imagine being that inconsiderate WHEWWWW,” Adria tweeted Tuesday morning.

NBC Olympics prime time host Mike Tirico said Biles' departure was "certainly as odd a turn I think as anyone expected."

"It was a bizarre twist to say the least," he said. But Tirico also noted that for Biles, "internally, externally, there was a lot of pressure a lot of expectations and sometimes it’s hard to deliver when that’s the case."

Biles has previously opened up about the pressure she faces after the star gymnast and her teammates finished in second place during the qualifying competition over the weekend.

After her withdrawal, Biles told the "TODAY" show that "coming here to the Olympics and being the head star isn't an easy feat."

Biles did not say whether she would compete in Thursday's individual all-around competition, where she is the defending champion.

"We're just trying to take it one day at a time and we'll see," she said.