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US gymnast Sunisa Lee praises teammates after winning silver: ‘We stepped up when we needed’

Sunisa Lee said Tuesday she’s “never been prouder” to be part of a team after the U.S. gymnastics squad took home a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the midst of a chaotic day that saw Simone Biles pull out of competition.

Lee had the top score in the uneven bars and her clutch performance was among those that helped the U.S. attain the silver medal, finishing right behind the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). She expressed her pride in the team in a tweet hours after the event.

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“Never been prouder to be apart of such an amazing team with an amazing group of girls. we stepped up when we needed to and did this for ourselves. we do not owe anyone a gold medal, we are WINNERS in our hearts,” Lee tweeted.

The focus will now turn to Lee and her teammates in the individual competitions.

Lee finished in third place in the individual all-around qualification round of the weekend, behind Biles and Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade.

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Lee had the second-highest score in the uneven bars with a 15.200. Belgium’s Nina Derwael had the highest score – a 15.366. She also finished in third place in the balance beam.

A lot of the attention will be on Lee as Biles announced Wednesday she pulled out of the individual all-around to focus on her mental health. Jade Carey will take her spot.

“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles was withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement Wednesday. Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals. Jade Carey, who had the ninth highest score in qualifications, will participate in her place in the all-around.

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”

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It’s unclear if Biles will compete in the individual apparatus competitions.

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