Simone Biles is the latest athlete vocal about mental health
After pulling out of the Olympic women's gymnastics team and all-around competitions, Simone Biles became the latest athlete at the center of the push to destigmatize mental health conversations in sports. Biles - who told reporters Tuesday there's "More to life than gymnastics" - is another in a series of athletes who have publicly prioritized their mental health firmly above their athletic pursuits, sparking a national conversation about mental health in sports. Tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open after clashing with officials over her opting to skip news conferences to focus on her mental health. Support has poured in for both Biles and Osaka on social media, including from Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., who took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon to praise the athletes for advocating for Black women's mental health. Some high-profile athletes have made efforts in recent years to reduce the stigma against mental health discussions in sports. Swimming phenom Michael Phelps is not only the most decorated Olympian of all time, but also a vocal mental health advocate after revealing in 2018 that he has struggled with depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.Phelps said Wednesday on "TODAY" that for him, the pressure of the Games is what drove him and when the competition was over, he struggled with finding his identity. Biles speaking out "Is an opportunity for us, all of us, to really learn about mental health, to all help each other out," Phelps said.
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