US Winter Olympic Champion Lauds Simone Biles for Her Heroics as a Mental Health Advocate

Published 01/12/2022, 11:52 AM EST
TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 27: Simone Biles of Team United States smiles during the Women’s Team Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)


Simone Biles stunned the world when she withdrew from the gymnastics competitions in Tokyo, prioritizing her mental health over Olympic glory. With a dozen medals and an act of sheer bravery, she has elevated to the GOAT level and is today considered a prominent advocate for the importance of mental health.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Notably, the sporting world hailed her decision, as it paved the way for many more athletes to open up about their struggles. Recently, American speed skater Apolo Ohno praised her take on the matter, acknowledging Biles’ brave act.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

American speed skater praises Simone Biles

The former speed skater Ohno is a legend of the sport. He is the most decorated Olympian for America in the Winter Olympics. He has won eight Olympic medals, with a dozen more World Championship medals to his name. Now retired, the talented speed skater loved the fact that athletes are grading mental health struggles as a big problem. Ohno talked about athletes like Biles, appreciating their stance on the matter.

He said, “I think that people who are being more outspoken around the mental health, a component of sport and life in general, I commend them. You can also showcase all those things around mental toughness and grit, and understanding the journey is not supposed to be easy.”

“There’s a tremendous opportunity here now to open up to the world and showcase that all Olympic athletes, regardless of whether we put them on a pedestal or not, they’re still human beings. And they still have thoughts and emotions and feelings and the micro-traumas like everyone else,” added Ohno.

Notably, Biles is not the only athlete to talk about athletes’ mental health struggles.

DIVE DEEPER

“Really Intimidated Me”: Simone Biles Opens Up on Competing With Katelyn Ohashi

13 days ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Michael Phelps is a prominent advocate for mental health

The greatest Olympic swimmer had a tough time during his prime. Despite having won 23 gold medals, Phelps suffered from major depression as well. However, with all his success and the experience he had from his own struggles, he started the Michael Phelps Foundation that helps people to have a healthy lifestyle, along with giving water safety lessons too.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JANUARY 06: Former Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps speaks during a Panasonic press event for CES 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on January 6, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world’s largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs January 7-10 and features about 4,500 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to more than 170,000 attendees. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Both Michael and Biles are role models for many around the globe. They proved it is okay to not be okay, as long as one talks about it and seeks the help required.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY- Five Inspiring Quotes From Gymnastics GOAT Simone Biles That Will Change Your Life

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Jacob Gijy

833 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT