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Simone Biles and the rest of the Team USA Gymnasts decided to sit the Olympics Opening Ceremony out. Instead, they chose to relax and stay at home, which sounds like the familiar choice we often make when ditching plans to go out—but the reasoning here is a bit different.
The Opening Ceremony started at 8 p.m. on Friday in Tokyo local time and at 7 a.m. ET that morning in the United States. The ceremony, which was scheduled to last for three and a half hours, aired again in a primetime broadcast at 7:30 p.m ET—but you won't see the Team USA Gymnasts in the mix. Biles—along with teammates Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, Jade Carey, and MyKayla Skinner—decided not to walk with Team USA in the ceremony because they are "focused on preparation," according to a spokeswoman for USA Gymnastics via The New York Times.
Patrick Smith, Getty Images
Since the women's gymnastics qualifying round begins on Sunday, the gymnasts wanted to save their energy for competition. Biles did a Q&A on her Instagram Story about the Olympic Games, answering a fan's questions about why the gymnastics team wouldn't be attending the opening ceremony. She cited several reasons, including, "COVID" and an excessive "amount of standing."
"We start the following day, so it wouldn't be smart," she added.
Don't worry, though, the team still pulled through with some matching outfit pictures.
Biles shared an image of her and Skinner jumping in the air together, along with an image of all the Team USA gymnasts in their matching gear with the caption, "LET THE GAMES BEGIN ✨."
Biles also shared with fans on her Instagram Story that she and the rest of the team still celebrated the Opening Ceremony from a distance. "We did our own little walk outside where we are staying haha," she wrote.
Even without the gymnasts at the ceremony, we'll be seeing plenty of them in the next several days, starting at the women's qualifying round on Sunday night. We'll be cheering the Team USA gymnasts on as they aim to secure their third-straight gold medal together.