Mental Health and Sports at the Highest Level of Competition

During the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the remainder of the team final . Bile’s indicated that it was due to her mental health, and it was also because she was not at her best for competition. She did not want to hurt the team’s performance which is why she withdrew from her spot in the finals. In later interviews  Biles talks about how she should have quit way before Tokyo. The USA Gymnastics twitter page was how they announced that Bile’s was going to withdrawing from the finals. 

In 2018 Biles revealed to the public that she had been one of many that were sexually abused by the former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Biles is one of the only athletes still be competing that was a victim of Larry Nassar. Biles talked about having the “twisties” which is when an athlete’s mind and body lose connection and muscle memory fails to kick in which for a gymnast like Biles this could be detrimental. She was competing for the institution that had covered the sexual abuse up and that must have a toll on someone’s mind. The article linked takes when looking at men’s violence against women,usually, the men are in a power position, as we see in the Nassar case..  

Elite athletes are held to a higher standard than everyone else and with that added stress can be added to that person’s life. An elite athlete’s life is held under a microscope and examined from ever view possible and because of that mental health can be overlooked and this is a problem that needs to be addressed.  

Kaitlen L.

Simone Biles at Tokyo 2020 Olympics (Source: AP Photo) 

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