“You Start Understanding the World”- US Olympic Star Noah Lyles Reflects on the Importance of Mental Health

Published 09/08/2021, 9:43 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s 200m – Medal Ceremony – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 5, 2021. Bronze medallist, Noah Lyles of the United States wearing a protective face mask celebrates on the podium REUTERS/Hannah Mckay


Tokyo Olympics 2020 has been a roller coaster for athletes in terms of their mental health. Noah Lyles was the one of the favorites from America to win in Tokyo and he did. Bronze medalist Noah Lyles also opened up about his mental health issues after his victory moment at the mega-event.

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But, the Olympic medalist broke down into tears after his match, talking about his mental health and his brother. Noah’s brother is also an athlete and wanted to represent the USA at the Olympics, but could not qualify. Lyles also talked about his struggles with mental health over the years.

Noah returns to his alma matter to talk about mental health

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Noah is indeed an inspiration for many young athletes after his glory at Tokyo Olympics 2020. The 24-year-old has been struggling with depression and anxiety for years now, and he opened up about the same in Tokyo. Noah has been going to therapy since the age of 8.

Lyles went back to his school, Alexandria City High School, in Virginia after returning from Tokyo. Noah opened up about his mental health in front of young students and motivated them to seek professional help if needed.

The Olympic bronze medalist also made them realize how mental health is important for all. “Everybody needs mental health and the more you understand about yourself is when you start understanding the world a lot more,” Noah said.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s 200m – Final – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 4, 2021. Noah Lyles of the United States celebrates after winning bronze REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel

Noah Lyles doesn’t think the bronze medal defines him

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After clinching the bronze medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020 in the 200m race, Noah was disappointed as he could not win the gold medal. In the post-match interview, Noah opened up about his mental health issues and his earlier Twitter post. Lyles had posted on Twitter about him being on anti-depressants. The Olympic medalist had disclosed this to motivate people to seek help should they need it.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s 200m – Final – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 4, 2021. Noah Lyles of the United States in action, on his way to winning bronze REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The 24-year-old wants to be known as Noah Lyles, and not as someone’s successor or an Olympic medalist.

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Noah’s spirit to face the challenges of life head-on, and be unafraid to ask for help should motivate people to do the same around the world. Listening to Noah talk about mental health must have been a refreshing and inspiring moment for young students at the Alexandria City High School.

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Shreya Verma

190 articles

Shreya Verma is an NBA and Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. A graduate of Political Science, Shreya comes from a strong sports background. A professional 10m air pistol shooter, Shreya is also a tennis enthusiast.

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