Could stories by athletes lead to more open mental health discussion?

U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin smiles on the podium after taking second place in the alpine ski women’s World Cup slalom in Meribel, France, on Saturday, March 19, 2022.

Marco Trovati, Associated Press

Mental health has become less of a taboo topic and it could be thanks, in part, to athletes like Simone Biles and Mikaela Shiffrin who are sharing their stories. 

Biles, as a seven-time Olympic medalist, shocked the world when she dropped out of competition for part of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Later, she explained that it was partly because of the death of her aunt earlier that week and her inability to focus on the competition, as Deseret News reported.

“My mental and physical health is above all medals that I could ever win,” Biles said per the New York Post. “It wasn’t easy pulling out of all those competitions.”

Biles supported Shiffrin, an Olympic skier who was ridiculed online for her disappointing performance in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, according to ESPN. 

Shiffrin had struggled with mental health since her father died in 2020 unexpectedly from a fall. She said that she questioned whether she still wanted to ski in a world without her dad. 

Eventually, she decided to get back on her skis and competed in the 2022 World Cup, six weeks into the season. 

In the middle of the season, in February, she also competed in the 2022 Olympics. She didn’t make it to the gate once during her individual runs, which was discouraging.

After her performance at the 2022 Olympics, she sought help through grief counseling over the loss of …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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