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Texans In Tokyo: Simone Biles Out, Women's 3x3 Basketball Stumbles & Men's Rugby Eliminated

This image is a graphic created by KERA for the 2021 Olympics. The background is dark blue. And it features an animation of a torch with a burning fire.
Anita Moti

There weren't any Texans climbing the podium on Tuesday, but the United States now leads all nations with 22 medals at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Simone Biles — the most decorated female gymnast in Olympics history — was pulled from the team competition on Tuesday. There were mixed results for the U.S.A. Women's Basketball teams. And after a strong start in pool play, the American Men's Rugby team is out of medal contention after loss to Great Britain in the quarterfinals.

Here's what you need to know about the Texans competing at the Olympics on July 27:


Tokyo Olympics Basketball
Charlie Neibergall/AP
Nigeria's Ezinne Kalu (23) drives past United States' Brittney Griner (15) during women's basketball preliminary round game at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Houston's Brittney Griner helped to lead the U.S. Women's Basketball team to a victory over Nigeria in the team's Olympic opener. Griner scored 13 points and gathered 10 rebounds in the win.

The team is the favorite to win gold at the Olympics and its roster is filled with WNBA superstars who have previous experience playing international basketball.

The U.S. Women's 3x3 Basketball team is also the favorite, but they've faced difficulties in their last three games against the Russian Olympic Committee, China and Japan.

Japan actually handed the U.S. their first loss on Tuesday after leading for most of the game. But the U.S. had already clinched the top seed in the medal round, so they won't be hurt by their lackluster effort.

If you decide to start watching these 10-minute games, keep an eye on Dallas Wings star Allisha Gray. She's the team's most consistent player and top defender. As Gray goes, so does the team.


After losses in individual play, Texans Kelley and Courtney Hurley represented the United States in the Women's Team Épée (Fencing) Competition. They were also joined on the team by Houston's Anna Van Brummen.

The team was able to beat Hong Kong on Monday to get into the quarterfinals but ultimately lost to South Korea.

On Tuesday, they competed for 5th place in the competition and were able to defeat Poland 33-26.


APTOPIX Tokyo Olympics Artistic Gymnastics
Ashley Landis/AP
Simone Biles, of the United States, watches gymnasts perform after an apparent injury, at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo. Biles withdrew from the team finals. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, Grace McCallum and Jordan Chiles entered the team competition confident on Tuesday. But Biles — the team's leader — exited the team competition after an awkward, low-scoring attempt on vault.

Biles didn't appearto suffer any physical injuries during the vault attempt, and NBC reported that she was dealing with a “mental issue” not a physical one.

The U.S.A. Gymnastics representatives would only describe Biles' exit as a "medical issue."

"Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue," USA Gymnastics said in a statement. "She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions."

Jordan Chiles, a resident of Spring, replaced Biles on uneven bars and beam.


Pool play went really well for the U.S.A. Men's Rugby team. They racked up wings against South Africa, Kenya and Ireland. But in the quarterfinal against Great Britain, they suffered a crushing four-point loss that will eliminate them from medal contention.

USA Rugby tweeted that the team was “unable to hold on in the end.”

And even though they’re no longer able to medal, the team will battle Canada later this week to determine the final world rankings.


Tokyo Olympics Softball
Matt Slocum/AP
Members of team United States react after a softball game against Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan. Japan won 2-0. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Softball made a return to the Olympics this year. And the U.S.A's team had ambitions to bring the Gold home.

But on Tuesday, in a special one-off event for these games, Japan defeated America and won Gold. The score was 2-0.


The U.S. Men’s 4x200 freestyle team finished in fifth in the preliminary races Tuesday night.

The squad will not have a spot in Wednesday morning’s final. But the team's streak of never missing the podium in the event since its first appearance on the Olympics program in 1908 is definitely in jeopardy.

UT Longhorn Drew Kibler is a part of this team. But he may be replaced before Wednesday's race.


The United States stunned top-seed China in a preliminary match on Tuesday.

The U.S. won in straight sets and, star player Jordan Thompson tallied an incredible 34 points in the game.

Both teams compete again Thursday in another preliminary match. The U.S. plays Turkey and China will face the ROC.

Hady Mawajdeh has been a reporter, producer, and digital editor at KERA since 2016. He is the creator and the co-host of KERA's first narrative podcast, Gun Play. And prior to his work in engagement, he also reported on arts and culture, social justice, and gun rights for the newsroom.