Laurie Hernandez, who was part of the U.S. women's gymnastics team led by Simone Biles that won the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, believes the pressure put on her former teammate is too much.
Biles, considered the best gymnast in the world, pulled out of the team competition Tuesday after a poor performance on the vault, the first event. USA Gymnastics said Biles withdrew due to a medical condition.
“Having to put that much pressure on her to carry the team to gold, it’s not fair," Hernandez said. "This is a team of four, not a team of one.
“That is terrifying, a competition without Simone when she’s on your team. In 2016, for us, it kind of felt like a safety net, because she’s so powerful and won by so much. But you never want to have this sort of piggybacking off her. That’s too much pressure. Nobody can handle that. I know she’s the best, but that is horrifying."
On Monday, in a post on Instagram, Biles commented on the pressure. "I have the weight of the world on my shoulders," she wrote. "I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn't affect me but damn sometimes it's hard hahaha!"