Mental Health Takes Top Priority in Olympics
By admin - July 29, 2021

Mental health has been a taboo subject for years because many fans and industry heads alike would say “it comes with the territory.” However, new athletes are taking a stand and making sure their mental health comes first. Here are the highlights: 

  • While Simone Biles was one to put aside everything for the sake of the sport, even she knew when it was her time to rest. She put on her white sweatsuit in the middle of Tuesday’s gymnastics meet. She’s gotten a lot of press for not going after another medal right before her all-around match. 
  • Mental health has been at the forefront for the past year and change. However, Michael Phelps was one of the first years ago to talk about how he contemplated suicide after the Summer Olympics 2012. He’s retired now and it’s breaking his heart to see Biles go through the struggle.
  • Phelps said that we’re human beings, and that’s it okay not to be okay.
  • Biles is not the only woman talking about her struggles. Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open, didn’t go to Wimbledon, and took an early leave at Tokyo.
  • WNBA player who would represent Australia in the Olympics, Liz Cambage mentioned her anxiety and taking daily medication. She said with the bubble, not seeing her friends and family, and her anxiety on overload, it just wasn’t the right time to be playing sports of this magnitude.
  • Biles said she wasn’t in the right headspace and was fighting a lot of demons hours before heading into the competition. 
  • The International Olympic Committee is aware of the struggle young athletes face and has started to create programs and mental health resources to help them up to three months after the Olympics. 
  • There’s a lot of burdens going through regular life struggles and maintaining a certain identity when you’re a champion. When Jenny Rissveds of Sweden didn’t get a second consecutive gold in cross-country mountain biking, she felt relieved. She’s still battling depression after losing two family members a year after her gold medal performance in Rio 2016. She feels now that she doesn’t have to carry the title, she can be Jenny.