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Hoda says she reached out to Simone Biles' mom after finals withdrawal

Family members have been watching their beloved athletes from afar after spectators were banned from the Tokyo Olympics.
/ Source: TODAY

Parents and family members of all the athletes at the Tokyo Olympics have been forced to cheer on their loved ones from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and at this moment, there's arguably no parent who wishes they could be with their Olympian more than Nellie Biles.

TODAY's Hoda Kotb said on the fourth hour Wednesday that she reached out to Simone Biles' mother. The gymnast withdrew from the team finals Tuesday, and USA Gymnastics confirmed she would also not compete in the individual all-around on Thursday.

Hoda said she reached out to Nellie Biles to update her on how the 24-year-old was holding up after withdrawing from the events.

"I said she seemed to feel relieved, almost," Hoda said. "She had that look of relief as opposed to anxiety. And her mom just said she was just happy that Simone had support here with all of us."

USA Gymnastics first said Biles withdrew from the team event due to a "medical issue." Hours after the news broke, Biles told Hoda: "Physically, I feel good, I'm in shape. Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment. Coming here to the Olympics and being the head star isn't an easy feat, so we're just trying to take it one day at a time and we'll see."

The U.S. gymnastics team finished second in the team event behind Russia after Jordan Chiles took Biles' spot on balance beam and uneven bars while Suni Lee filled in on floor exercise.

Chiles and teammate Grace McCallum told TODAY on Wednesday that they support Biles "no matter what."

"I really can't say a lot because she has to tell her own story, but all I know is I'm going to support her no matter what," Chiles said. "I am her teammate, I am her best friend, like she said. This is the moment that I think that I truly realize that I've gotten so much closer to her than I really thought. She's my ride or die. I will forever be by her side."

Biles' withdrawals have put a spotlight on athletes' mental health, and one of the most outspoken Olympians on the topic shared his reaction to this week's news Wednesday on TODAY.

"This is an opportunity for all of us to really learn more about mental health, to all help each other out," Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, said. "For me, I want people to be able to have somebody that can support them, who’s non-judgmental and who’s willing to hold space. There’s a lot that we can do to help one another and we have to start. We can’t brush it under the rug anymore."

Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Day 5
Simone Biles and MyKayla Skinner watch the men's all-around final on day five of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.Jamie Squire / Getty Images

On Wednesday, Biles was spotted in the stands at the men's gymnastics all-around final with teammate MyKayla Skinner cheering on Team USA.