Tiger Woods’ Ex Praises Simone Biles for Being the Pioneer of Athlete’s Mental Health

Published 01/12/2022, 2:34 PM EST
USA’s Simone Biles in the Women’s Beam Final at Ariake Gymnastic Centre on the eleventh day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Tuesday August 3, 2021. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)


In a stunning turn of events, Simone Biles stepped down from her individual competitions at Tokyo 2020, citing mental health concerns. She prioritized her mental health over Olympic glory and set an example for athletes around the world.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

With her courageous act, Biles brought light to a topic in desperate need of it. Moreover, she paved the way for others to do the same.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

One of the athletes Biles inspired was Lindsey Vonn, the American alpine ski racer. Recently, she opened up on how much Biles helped her and other athletes like her with her stance on mental health.

Vonn is grateful to Biles

Biles was going through an unprecedented amount of pressure, which ultimately took a toll on her performance. She experienced a case of twisties while competing in Tokyo. This was when she realized she needed to take a step back.

With her brave move, she inspired many athletes, and Lindsey Vonn was one of them. Vonn herself struggled with depression during her career. She believes that when elite athletes like Simone Biles speak up about mental health, it really helps bring the cause to light.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 14: Simone Biles of the United States looks on prior to the Women’s Vault Final on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

“The fact that Simone [Biles] talked about it and pulled out of her competition in the Olympics really shed light on it in a way that hasn’t been done before,” said Vonn.

She also mentioned pro tennis player, Naomi Osaka, for leading the path initially.

“They’ve really brought the conversation to a global scale that we haven’t seen before.”

Vonn credits both Biles and Osaka for talking about the importance of mental health publicly and making it known to people. This helped many other athletes also speak up for themselves.

Simone Biles doesn’t want to be an advocate of mental health

Ever since Biles opened up about her mental health struggles, people have looked up to her for guidance and advice. However, Biles has revealed that she was not looking forward to becoming an advocate of mental health.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“ Everybody wanted me to be an advocate and the face for mental health. And I was like, no, I’m not expertise,” said Biles.

TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 03: Simone Biles of Team United States competes in the Women’s Balance Beam Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

“Like I am still going through my own unique journey and that’s something I need to figure out before I can try to help people and talk about,” Biles added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Biles is currently on a sabbatical, enjoying life away from the sport. How long do you think before Biles returns to competitive gymnastics?

DIVE DEEPER

Away From Gymnastics, What is Simone Biles Doing Now?

10 days ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Richa Goswami

269 articles

Richa Goswami is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. As an adherent learner, she uses her journalistic persona to navigate through new skills. Richa has completed her schooling at Don Bosco.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT