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Why Simone Biles and USA gymnasts aren't at Olympic opening ceremony

The gymnasts threw their own mini party instead of attending the Olympic opening ceremony.
/ Source: TODAY

Team USA is missing a few of their star athletes at Friday's opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.

The U.S. women's gymnastics team opted out of attending, but they're still celebrating in their own way.

The women's gymnastics team was all smiles at their mini party marking the start of the Games.simonebiles/Instagram

Several members of the team shared photos from their private celebration Friday, including fan-favorite Simone Biles, who shared a photo with her teammates on her Instagram story and captioned the post, "Our opening ceremony mix."

Biles also shared a photo of herself jumping for joy with MyKayla Skinner and captioned the post, "Let the games begin."

In Biles' Instagram story, the 24-year-old said that the team did their "own little walk" outside of their hotel. When asked why they didn't attend the official ceremony, the gymnast cited the risk of contracting COVID-19 and also shared a few other explanations.

"The amount of standing is crazy. USA is usually at the end as well because alphabetical," she wrote.

"We start the following day. So it wouldn't be smart," she added.

A team spokesperson told The New York Times that the gymnasts skipped the opening ceremony because they were "focused on preparation."

Still, the team didn't exactly seem to mind their more intimate festivities.

Gymnast Jade Carey referred to the occasion as "our own little twist on opening ceremonies🇺🇸❤️."

In her photos, Grace McCallum looked like she was soaking up every minute. "Opening ceremonies, let’s gooo!!!" she wrote.

It looks like the men's gymnastics team also joined in on the fun! Gymnastics coach Lisa Spini shared a video of the teams pretending to make their grand entrance at the opening ceremony.

Gymnastics is always one of the most anticipated sports to watch at the Olympics, and all eyes are on Biles this year, especially after she pulled off a historic move, the Yurchenko double pike on the vault, while practicing this week.

In May, the 24-year-old nailed the move during the U.S. Classic in Indianapolis and made history doing so, since no other woman had ever performed it during a competition until then.