“Validate Your Emotions”: Olympic Gold Medallist Takes Inspiration From Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles

Published 11/10/2021, 12:39 AM EST
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Singles – Round 2 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 26, 2021. Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts after winning her second round match against Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland REUTERS/Mike Segar


Professional athletes face enormous pressure constantly. Hence, in the long run, it takes a heavy toll on their mental health. Similarly, the 21-year-old American snowboarder Chloe Kim reflected on being under pressure at all times. In addition, she also praised Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka and American gymnast Simone Biles for prioritizing their mental health over sports.

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Notably, Kim had become the youngest woman to win an Olympic gold medal, winning in women’s snowboard halfpipe at 17. Thus, she carried different pressure on her since then. As the young American is preparing for Winter Olympics in Beijing now, she looked back on the pressure days and got inspiration from Osaka and Biles.

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“I felt pressured to be perfect all the time, and it drained me. I was genuinely angry for a while because I was so concerned about what everyone else would think about me. It became toxic,” Kim told Shape.

Afterward, the Olympic gold medallist realized she needed to take better care of herself. And that empowered her a lot.

Chole Kim on following Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles’ example

Both Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles pulled out from the French Open and Olympic medal defense citing mental health problems, respectively. Accordingly, they received a lot of support from athletes and fans across the world.

Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan warms up before playing against Marie Bouzkova of Czech Republic in the first round on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Moreover, the two became the central point of the growing mental health conversation in the sporting world. Likewise, Chole Kim gave their example to raise awareness.

“I was really proud of Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka as well, for prioritizing their mental health,” Kim said. “I hope that people realize that as athletes and Olympians, we face a lot of pressure. It’s important to slow down, take a step back, and validate your emotions. Respecting yourself is so important.”

Simone Biles practices uneven bars during the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics trials in St Louis, Missouri, U.S. June 25, 2021. REUTERS/Lindsey?Wasson?

Eventually, the entire sports community is following in the footsteps of Osaka and Biles. Fans hope that soon there will be more help for athletes to cope up with pressure.

Watch this story: Daughter Olympia Gives Serena Williams Piano Lessons

Osaka ends break from tennis

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After a break since US Open 2021 disappointment, Osaka finally took on the tennis court again. Although she admitted being rusty, she felt happy to be back.

 

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A post shared by 大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka)

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Therefore, fans expect the Japanese star to make a stellar return at the Australian Open next year. So far, Osaka has won four Grand Slams in four consecutive years. Will she continue that tradition?

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Purav Joshi

1357 articles

Purav Joshi is a Senior Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 1000 tennis articles.

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