30 Jul

Olympic Athletes Talking About Health is a Good Thing

Olympic athletes look almost too good to be true, a picture of glowing health and wellness that we can only aspire to. But, the reality is that these elite sportspeople are still at risk for various diseases, cancers and mental health issues like the rest of us.

Just because you’re an Olympic athlete doesn’t keep you safe, health problems strike anyone.

Simone Biles talks about her health

American gymnast and world champion Simone Biles has hit the headlines with her candid comments around her mental health since withdrawing mid-competition in Tokyo. Some felt she had let her team down, others said she should have toughed it out as that was part of being champion. However what resonated for others was that resilience and mental toughness may be fine – up to the point where you just cannot go on, even when you want to.

Biles has provided more details on her Instagram around her decision to stop competing at the Tokyo Olympics. “For anyone saying I quit, I didn’t quit, my mind and body are simply not in sync as you can see here,” she wrote. “I don’t think you realise how dangerous this is on a hard/competition surface. Nor do I have to explain why I put health first. Physical health is mental health.”

No-one is perfect

When athletes share their ongoing mental and physical ailments, it can have a wonderful effect. People may take that bold final step in getting tested or checked for a health issue they have been quietly worrying about for ages, or simply stop beating themselves up for ‘getting’ or having a particular health condition.

This has to be a good thing.


Explore olympics.com for the latest medal count, news, schedules, videos, and information about the athletes and teams competing at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Go New Zealand!


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