Are Young Gymnasts in Danger of Early Depression? Simone Biles Addresses Popular Myth

Published 11/08/2021, 8:22 AM EST
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/Dylan Martinez


Simone Biles is at an all-time high in her career following the success of her Gold Over America Tour. Despite not competing in major gymnastics competitions, she is staying in the headlines for her notable work towards society. Her ever-lasting legacy remains key in drawing many young gymnasts closer to the sport.

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Recently, Simone Biles withdrew from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, citing mental health concerns. When asked whether she had faced similar issues when she was a kid, she opened up on how happy her life was as a kid.

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Simone Biles had a happy childhood

The legendary gymnast revealed in an interview with ‘GLAMOUR’ about the happy childhood she had and how she never faced troubles when growing up.

“I was never depressed as a kid. I was actually very happy. Because I feel like you, don’t really get pressure to compete well till you get older. But, it also depends on your parents and your coaches, and my parents just always let me have fun and be myself in and out of the gym.”

“So as I got older, you have to take mental days or whatever. But, I’ve probably only taken like two ever. So, not really,” said Biles.

Simone Biles is spotted by her coach Laurent Landi as she competes on uneven bars during the final day of women’s competition in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for gymnastics in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., June 27, 2021. Picture taken June 27, 2021. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Biles withdrew from events

The curious case of Biles on not performing in Tokyo is an example for many athletes. Prioritizing herself over the highest amount of glory is remarkable as Biles took a monumental decision to withdraw from the gymnastics events at Tokyo Olympics 2020. However, she is not ready to compete yet. She revealed how she is “still scared to do gymnastics.”

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“To do something that I’ve done forever and just not be able to do it because of everything I’ve gone through is really crazy because I love this sport so much,” said Biles.

Winning 4 medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, she shocked everyone. Hence, her withdrawal from Tokyo was disheartening but understandable. However, the gymnast recently performed on her Gold Over America Tour, with an aim to further influence younger generations. Undoubtedly, Through her craft, she is influencing many young kids to take up the sport.

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FILE PHOTO: Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Women’s Team – Final – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – July 27, 2021. Simone Biles of the United States wearing a protective face mask gestures. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File PhotoHer return to gymnastics is still unknown, but right now, she is enjoying her life away from the sport.

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Jacob Gijy

656 articles

Jacob Gijy is a US Sports and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the center the respect he deserves.

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