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Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, and Lewis Hamilton are some of the athletes who have spoken publicly about their mental health breakdown. They are the staunch proponents of cognitive well-being in the field of sports. The athletes are making every effort to normalize the breakdowns in the field of sports and encouraging others to speak up and seek help. 

Along similar lines, in the wake of mental health challenges, ace gymnast Simone Biles was on a hiatus to focus on her well-being. She withdrew from elite gymnastics due to ‘Twisties’ which she endured in the Tokyo Olympics. However, after around 2 years of break, she finally made a comeback and stood atop the podium in both US Core Hydration Classic and Xfinity Championships. Since this time the gymnast had some extra help to cope with the stress that comes down with competition in the Xfinity Championships, she could solely focus on her competition. 

Simone Biles and the extra special support

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Simone Biles is certainly one of the best gymnasts in the world. And it is quite evident by the performances she gave after returning to elite gymnastics. The gymnast queen won the US Classics, which was her first competition after the break. After that, on August 27, she did something historic on the gymnastics stage and became the first gymnast to win 8 U.S. all-around titles after shattering the 90-year-old Alfred Jochim’s record.

Interestingly, the issues she had of severe headaches due to the competition heat and bright lights were resolved this time with special dog support therapy. According to NBC, the US Gymnastics program has arranged a 3-year-old Golden Retriever named Beacon and his handler Tracey Callahan Molnar as a therapeutic support for athletes.

The Chief Communications and Marketing Officer for US Gymnastics, Jill Geer said, “There can be a lot of pressure that athletes put on themselves, so just to be able to see that friendly face and pet a dog. It’s great therapy for anyone.”

He added that Beacon is the unofficial mascot of US Gymnastics and he was an instant hit with the athletes, coaches, and judges. Hence, Simone Biles, the GOAT of gymnastics, received a lot of support from the organization for her mental health problems. Besides her, there are some other athletes who suffered the same mental health issues due to the competition heat and spoke up on the same. 

Mental health issues in sports

According to the mental health statistics, 1 out of 4 American adults suffer from mental health issues in America. Not just the folks but 35 percent of elite sports athletes also suffer from different types of mental health issues, like depression, anxiety, food disorder, and burnout.

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Michael Phelps, the legendary swimming prodigy, is one of the athletes who has been quite open about his issues. From a very young age, Phelps suffered from ADHD, but he was able to overcome it with the help of swimming. Later, he endured anxiety and depression for a very long time during his professional career of swimming. Addressing his cognitive health, the Baltimore Bullet said, “We’ve seen how many people are struggling from similar things that I’ve struggled from or Simone Biles struggles from.

Besides Phelps, Lewis Hamilton, the F1 great also stated his mental health issues and how he overcame it. He stated, “I have struggled mentally and emotionally for a long time, to keep going is a constant effort but we have to keep fighting. We have so much to do and to achieve.”

Read More: Breaking: Despite Unfair Judgement, Simone Biles Achieves the Unthinkable at XFinity US National Gymnastics Championship

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Clearly, athletes like Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, and Lewis Hamilton overcame their mental health difficulties and became champions in their respective fields. Just like what Simone Biles says, “We feel empowered to open up about it.” So, speaking up on the problems is always a ray of sunshine towards the betterment.

Watch this Story: Simone Biles’ Fanbase Welcomes Their Queen With Open Arms After Gymnast Faces Backlash for Long Hiatus