Raven Saunders Opens Up on a Conversation With Simone Biles on the Plane Back From Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/28/2021, 11:20 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Men’s Rings – Medal Ceremony – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – August 2, 2021. Simone Biles of the United States wearing a protective face mask looks on REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY


Tokyo Olympics 2020 was a roller coaster for athletes because of the pandemic. Olympic star Simone Biles also stood up as an advocate for the mental health of the athletes at the mega-quadrennial event.

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Olympics’ favorite gymnast withdrew mid-game because of mental health issues. Biles indeed took a big step at the biggest sporting event. Later on, the reason for her mental health being affected was revealed, as she had lost her aunt.

Olympians make tremendous sacrifices to represent their nations at the Olympics. 2020 was even harder and emotional, as athletes did not have their family, friends, or even spectators supporting them.

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Raven Saunder lost her mother during the Tokyo Olympics 2020

American shot-put athlete Raven Saunder won the silver medal for Team USA at the mega games. Unfortunately, a few days later, the Olympic champion lost her mother. Just after achieving the biggest victory, losing her mother was not easy for Raven.

Simone Biles also lost her aunt a few days before her match in Tokyo and it took a toll on her mental health. The pain is excruciating, and it is a task for athletes to compete.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s Shot Put – Qualification – OLS – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – July 30, 2021. Raven Saunders of the United States wearing a face mask in action REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

In conversation with Citius Mag, Raven opened up about the demise of her mother and her mental health. She even mentioned her quick meeting with Simone Biles at the airport.

“Yeah. So we had a chance to have a quick conversation. It was really nice to kind of share that. I feel like, especially when you see certain people, you really never think about certain things, and especially us two now being on the forefront of mental health, especially within athletes in sports. It was kind of nice to kind of share that moment”, said Raven.

Simone Biles, Naomi, Raven inspiration for athletes

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Going back a decade, it was not easy for athletes to open up about their mental health. Having the responsibility to represent a nation can overwhelm their personal lives.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Women’s Team – Final – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – July 27, 2021. Simone Biles of the United States during the Women’s Team Final REUTERS/Mike Blake

Olympic legends Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps have also talked about the intense mental pressure. Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka took a step back to protect their mental health.

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Star athletes are setting an example to help young athletes ask for help when they need it. This is a huge revolution in sports where mental health is being given the same importance as physical abilities.

DIVE DEEPER

“Athletes Are Human Too”- Katie Ledecky Backs Simone Biles for Prioritizing Mental Health at Tokyo Olympics 2020

about 1 month ago

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Shreya Verma

206 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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