Former Gymnast Believes Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka ‘Saved Lives’ by Speaking Out at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 10/08/2021, 3:36 AM EDT
Simone Biles smiles at a teammate 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


Banishing social stigma, many athletes are starting to prioritize their mental wellbeing over inevitable glory. Setting an example of the same, Simone Biles shocked the world with her withdrawal from the major events of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, citing mental health concerns. Hence, many athletes have praised her for her stance on the issue, including former Olympic champion Aly Raisman.

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Aly Raisman shows support to Simone Biles and Osaka

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In a recent interview, the former gymnast talked about the importance of the mental well-being of athletes. Moreover, she loved the fact that Biles and tennis sensation Naomi Osaka are great advocates of the same.

“You know Simone is a friend of mine. I don’t know Naomi but I’m a big fan of Naomi and I think that both of them are doing really important things. I recognize that it must be really hard to do that — to be so honest and vulnerable but by them speaking their truth they are really helping so many people, and we may never know how many lives that they’ve saved and how many people feel less alone and feel the courage to ask for help because they spoke up,said Raisman.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 17: Simone Biles of the United States performs on the beam during the Gymnastics Rio Gala on Day 12 of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Like Biles, Naomi Osaka pulled out from major tournaments, citing mental health issues. Not a fan of paparazzi, she found it difficult to focus on her game because of the unparalleled spotlight she received after winning her first Grand Slam.

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Biles is a phenomenon

Many entities, including Michael Phelps, lauded Biles for her brave move. Raisman also added how Biles handled the situation, as she was proud of her compatriot’s decision.

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“Simone has more pressure than any other gymnast I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. And it’s a lot, And I think that it’s a bigger conversation of, you know, there needs to be better systems out there to support the mental health of athletes and to help athletes navigate how much pressure they’re under,” said Raisman.

USA’s Simone Biles reacts after taking bronze in the Women’s Balance 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)

The unprecedented lockdown gave rise to many unusual mental health concerns. Hence, a prominent personality like Simone Biles coming out in the open about the same had quite the positive impact.

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Jacob Gijy

489 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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