“Affect Your Mental Health”: After Simone Biles and Mikaela Shiffrin, Olivia Dunne Speaks Up on Dark Side of Stardom

Published 11/08/2023, 12:31 PM EST

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Olivia Dunne‘s quick rise to stardom as an LSU gymnast led to her NIL alone being valued at $3.5M yearly. This also made her the highest-paid female collegiate athlete in 2021, a status she still holds. In addition, she was also part of the US national gymnastics team and is currently dating Major League Baseball’s No. 1 draft Paul Skenes. However, she soon became another name in the elite list after Simone Biles who received much criticism when she withdrew from gymnastics competitions in the middle of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Also similar to the public and international media scrutinizing Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin, after failing to secure several triumphs.

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Apart from sports, these well-known athletes also took bold stands while showing their unrelenting persistence and wisdom. During a recent interview, Dunne discussed how she strikes the correct balance between her personal and professional lives as a popular personality. She has always been an active harbinger and champion for her mental health and has aggrandized efforts to salvage it as well.

Olivia Dunne opens up about her arrangements

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In an earlier statement to People, Dunne said, “It’s not a girl’s responsibility how a man looks at her or how he acts.” From that day to now, not much has changed since this time the gymnast spoke to the American magazine about her upgraded security at LSU. Dunne also talked about a careful approach to juggling responsibilities in her rewarding profession. On the lines, she shared, ,”if you don’t have balance, that can affect your mental health. I finally feel like I got a grasp on it this year. It’s just compartmentalizing things mentally is very important in my everyday routine.”

Not long back, the Red Rocks gymnastics team defeated LSU in front of an overwhelming crowd in January. But what caught much attention was the actions of many young men competing for the attention of Olivia in attendance at the University of Utah. Notably, due to her ankle injury, Dunne wasn’t performing, however the inappropriate behavior affected her fellow gymnasts outside the building yelling, “We want Livvy! Give us Livvy!” Following the event, Dunne used Twitter and wrote a message that said, “I want to ask you to please be respectful.” Since the incident, she skipped physical classes and attended virtually.

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Dunne’s case is only one of many times mental health-affected gymnasts, including Simone Biles, one of the most accomplished in terms of medal counts. Her mental health was negatively impacted by “the twisties,” during the Olympics in Tokyo. She publicly discussed her struggles, saying, “I’m still afraid to try gymnastics, though.” This disclosure highlights the depth of high-stressed settings, similar to the one that alpine skiing G.O.A.T also endured. These aren’t isolated incidents and should be nipped in the bud, which stars are taking steps to curb so that it doesn’t hinder their future performances.

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Mikaela Shiffrin divulges her mental health struggles

Shiffrin’s glorious image met a major upset with back-to-back setbacks. Her father’s untimely death, a crippling back injury, and a positive COVID-19 test that forced her to miss many World Cup events. Shiffrin suffered another historic blow at the 2022 Winter Olympics when she was disqualified from three races, including her specialty, the slalom. During the rough patch, the same was going in rounds for her. She noted how “everything turned extremely public for me(her).” Further declaring, “I’m a different person than I was.”

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In a victorious clapback, Shiffrin officially became the only skier male or female to win 88 World Cup wins. Further, by being open about her difficulties, Shiffrin joined the ranks of well-known female athletes who have raised awareness of hitherto taboo subjects like trauma, mental health, and the pressure to perform at a high level. Leaving the much-opinionated question behind: Is emotional well-being not as important as physical? This right here is food for thought that will dictate the future of individual-centric sports.

Watch this story Struggling With Intense Training, America’s Crush Olivia Dunne Pays the Heavy Price

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Written by:

Divya Purohit

707Articles

One take at a time

Hi there! I am Divya Purohit, and I am a Olympics sports writer at EssentiallySports. As an avid sports junkie I delved in the world of sports journalism and started crafting content around my favorite athletes. By means of my distinct storytelling approach, I provide perceptive viewpoints on diverse sports stories.
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Edited by:

Himanshu Sridhar

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