Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum say they support Simone Biles "no matter what."
The two U.S. gymnasts reflected on Tuesday's gutsy performance to earn a silver medal in the team competition and expressed their support for Biles after the superstar's withdrawal and subsequent announcement that she would not be defending her gold medal in Thursday's individual all-around competition.
"I was there for her, I supported her, I did try to tell her, 'Look, you know how to do everything, this is you, this is your moment, it's all up to you,'" Chiles told Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Wednesday.
"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. 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, 24, stunningly withdrew from the team competition after one vault on Tuesday, followed by an announcement by USA Gymnastics early Wednesday confirming that Biles will not take part in Thursday's all-around competition in order to focus on her mental health.
"Physically, I feel good, I'm in shape," Biles told Hoda Kotb exclusively on TODAY after her decision to withdraw from the team competition. "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."
Biles praised her teammates for their performance in her absence, writing on Instagram Tuesday that they "stepped up when I couldn't."
She has not yet announced whether she will participate in the individual events next week. McCallum and Chiles both said they hope she decides to compete but will support her decision no matter what.
"Whatever she puts her mind to," Chiles said. "She's Simone for a reason. She's not a quitter. You will never see Simone just go out there and not do what she knows she can do."
Chiles, McCallum and teammate Suni Lee stepped up in Biles' absence on Tuesday, pushing the Russian Olympic Committee to the end before falling by 3.5 points to win the silver medal. It marked the first time since 2008 that the U.S. women have not won Olympic gold in the gymnastics team competition.
McCallum was the first team member to compete after Biles made her stunning announcement that she would not continue following a shaky first vault.
"I was really stressed because I knew that my routine probably set the whole mood for the rest of the meet," McCallum. "It was a lot of pressure. My heart was beating about million miles an hour and I was on the verge of tears, but I just knew that I had to do my gymnastics, nothing more, nothing less."
Chiles also had to fill in for Biles at the last minute on the uneven bars, but she rose to the challenge.
"I also knew in my body that I could pull out everything that I had," Chiles said. "I did have to fill some humongous shoes out there, but I did it for a reason. I did it for her. She was with us the whole time."