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Black Athletes Breaking Barriers and Embracing Mental Health: Simone Biles

As we celebrate Black History Month, we want to highlight Simone Biles for her openness about her mental health journey.

As we celebrate Black History Month, we want to highlight incredible Black athletes who’ve made their mark with their skills and their honesty about their lives and mental health journeys.

These athletes, from different sports, are open about who they truly are, showing their strengths and challenges. Their stories teach us important lessons.

They remind us that life can be tough for anyone, no matter who you are. It’s okay not to have everything go smoothly all the time.

They stress the importance of seeking help when it comes to mental health, showing that it’s a sign of strength, not weakness.

They also show us how speaking up and standing for what you believe in can make a positive impact on the world.

Why we’re celebrating Simone Biles

Simone Biles is celebrated for her unparalleled achievements in gymnastics and her advocacy for mental health and athletes’ rights.

As an athlete known for her ground breaking skills and remarkable medal record, Biles has become a symbol of resilience and success, especially for young Black girls aspiring to make their mark in sports.

Biles has also been open about the impact racial bias has had on her, expressing that she ‘feels like every Black athlete or colored athlete could say that they’ve experienced it through their career.’

But you just have to keep going for those little ones looking up to us. It doesn’t matter what you look like. You can strive for greatness, and you can be great.

Simone Biles

Image Credit: Shutterstock/DFree. Simone Biles 6th Annual Instyle Awards, Los Angeles, 2021.

Biles noted the additional challenges faced as a Black woman in her field.

As a Black woman, we just have to be greater. Because even when we break records and stuff, they almost dim it down, as if it’s just normal.

Simone Biles

Her Mental Health Journey

Simone Biles’s approach to mental health has been transformative in sports.

By withdrawing from events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to prioritize her mental wellbeing, she sparked a crucial global conversation about the immense pressure athletes endure.

Following her initial withdrawal, Simone Biles mentioned that she needed to take a step back and focus on improving her mindfulness before coming back to complete the events.

Biles has been candid about the importance of mental health, advocating for athletes to acknowledge their struggles and seek help when needed.

While she did not intend or even really want to be the face of the conversation about athletes and mental health, Biles knows she has the chance to help other girls face their own struggles and reminds them we are all going through it together.

I hope young women take away that it’s OK to not be OK. You can speak up for what you believe, and you can do things alone.

Simone Biles

We hope these stories inspire you, just like these athletes inspire us. Remember, you’re not alone in your journey. With determination and resilience, you can overcome anything.

‘Head in the Game’ is here to help support young peoples mental health. To learn more about the ‘Head in the Game’ program click here. Young people can also explore resources to support their mental wellbeing by clicking here.