US gymnast Simone Biles decides to prioritize her emotional well-being at the Tokyo Olympics An expert on the matter said Wednesday that it would go a long way toward fighting the stigma of mental illness.
According to Ben Miller, a psychologist and president of the California-based Well Being Trust, mental health has been marginalized in society for far too long and the athletes who speak up should be commended.
“Other athletes who may have had similar problems now feel it’s okay to talk about them. There is something very powerful at the time,” Miller told Reuters in an interview.
“There will always be naysayers and people who say, ‘Well, they’re just making excuses because they didn’t perform well.'” This is a shame. It is an example of stigma.”
Biles, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, argued this week that his decision to quit the team competition in Tokyo stemmed from pressure to live up to expectations and the need to protect his mental health.
After that, the 24-year-old American also withdrew from the singles competition.
Miller said that while the best athletes have trainers to help them with physical appearance, A person’s mind is a part of his body and must be taken care of with equal care so that he can handle the pressures of competition on the big stages.
This is especially important for athletes who have had to face a one-year delay in the Olympic Games due to COVID-19 and who are competing amid strict protocols that have left them without family support and without spectators at venues in the city’s host, Tokyo.
“We’re still in the middle of a pandemic, so there’s all this social disconnect, there’s no people supporting you, and there’s a lot of things that COVID has exaggerated or amplified that I think is under a lot of these things,” Miller said.