Posted: July 28, 2021, 12:07 p.m.
Last update on: July 28, 2021, 02:31 am.
The individual gymnastics competition for the 2020 Olympics has been plunged into a state of chaos following the shocking withdrawal of American Simone Biles.
Biles retired from tag team competition yesterday following an unusually poor jump. The 24-year-old cited mental health reasons for her departure.
Biles was the betting favorite for four final individual events, including the women’s individual all-around. But she won’t be attending any of these events either. But with Biles out, punters are scrambling to readjust their Olympic gymnastics odds.
Biles is perhaps considered the best female gymnast in the history of the sport. She won four gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. She arrived in Tokyo as the face of the games, at least for the United States, and was heavily favored to lead the American team in the all-around competition. His departure yesterday allowed the American team to finish second behind Russia.
Russians now favored
Simone Biles was the betting favorite for each of the four individual finals she qualified for – vault, beam, floor exercise and all-around. Biles easily won the all-around in 2016. Her total score of 62.366 was nearly two points better than silver medalist, Biles’ teammate Aly Raisman.
Sports betting now has Russian twins Dina and Arina Averina topping the list. DraftKings has Dina at -450 and Arina longer at +200. The odds imply a respective chance of winning gold at 81.8% and 33.3%.
Prior to her retirement, Biles was the all-around favorite at -350. To win $ 100 on these odds, a bettor would have had to risk $ 350.
The U.S. team’s best prospect for women’s gold is now 21-year-old Laura Zeng. Appearing at his second Summer Olympics, DraftKings put Zeng at +4000 to take home gold. However, the odds of her winning her first Olympic gymnastics medal are lower at +1000.
With two strong chances of winning gold, the Russian team is the favorite to win the individual all-around gold at -1200. USA is a distant +6000. Each country may have two gymnasts compete in the individual all-around competition.
TV ratings up, down
NBC Ratings for the 2020 Summer Olympics have been poor so far. The first night of the competition drew 15.9 million US viewers, down 32% from the first night of the Games in 2016. Audience fell to 20 million viewers on Sunday, but that’s still a drop 36% from five years ago.
Biles has been praised and berated on social media, as is the norm for media such as Twitter and Facebook. But its shocking release likely drew viewers on Tuesday night for the replay of the events, which took place live much earlier today in Tokyo.
An all-around final in gymnastics without Biles could further hurt TV ratings. A March poll by Morning Consult found gymnastics to be the sport most Americans have been looking forward to during these Summer Olympics.
Seventy percent of those polled said they were “somewhat interested” or “very interested” in watching gymnastics events unfold.