IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK: Simone Biles puts mental health first at Tokyo Olympics to come back stronger than ever.
This week, the worlds most decorated Olympic gymnast Simone Biles made a come-back like no other after shocking the world for pulling out of the Womens team all-around final at the 2020 Tokyo Games, due to her mental health struggles.
From being born to a mother who suffered from alcohol and drug addiction to being a victim of USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar who was sentenced to 175 years in prison in 2018 after allegedly molesting gymnasts, the 24 year old US gymnast has overcome extreme adversities in her life. Having not lost an all-round title since 2013, Biles was set to be the first woman in 50 years to win back-to-back titles at the Olympic Games.
Biles however swiftly followed the lead of other high profile athletes including tennis star Naomi Osaka who earlier this year decided against participating in the French Open due to her own mental health struggles.
With most praising Biles for raising awareness on the issue and reiterating how athletics is more than just entertainment, she was able to come back and win a Bronze medal for the individual beam event. Shocked at her own achievement, Biles insisted the medal “meant more to her than all of the golds” due to the challenges she has faced over the last five years.
Already an incredibly strong human being that has overcome more devastation in her life than most others, and at a time where mental health is a highly topical issue, Simone Biles has come out on top.
From a PR perspective, we understand just how important it is for those in the spotlight to set a good example to all. Not only has Biles highlighted an ongoing issue that many face throughout their daily lives, she will no doubt encourage those in a similar position and with a matching status to speak up which in turn will lead to a new normal within the sporting world.