WASHINGTON — The 2020 Olympics wrapped up on Sunday. While dramatic finishes, amazing victories and medal counts start to fade from our memories, I hope we take something different away from these games: An improved attitude toward accepting mental health issues.
Many consider Simone Biles to be one of the greatest gymnasts to ever live. She had planned to defend her 2016 gold medals in several events in Tokyo.
Then the twisties hit, and so did the pressure.
Biles recognized that this wasn't something she could just power through. She needed to deal with both the physical and mental issues.
"To bring the topic of mental health, it should be talked about a lot more, especially with athletes, because I know some of us are going through the same things and we're always told to push through it," Biles said. "At the end of the day, we're not just entertainment, we're humans and there are things going on behind the scenes that we're also trying to juggle with as well, on top of sports."
Biles isn't the only top athlete to bring up mental health recently. So did local sprinter Noah Lyles, and tennis star Naomi Osaka.
Competing in the final women's gymnastic event, Biles came back with a bronze on the balance beam.
But it's her balance in life -- and her willingness to share her struggles to maintain that balance -- that should earn her a perfect score from all of us.
It should inspire us all to seek help if we need it, whenever we need it.
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