Mental health struggles of athletes at Summer Olympics in Beijing, China!
Celebrities and athletes are opening up about their mental health struggles. It is not easy. During the Summer Olympics in Tokyo Japan, Simon Biles was very vocal about her issues with mental health. And now in the Winter Olympics in Beijing, many athletes have opted to also talk about it in public. Drew Petersen the professional skier is one of them.
Simon Biles and her mental health struggles
Summer Olympics took place last year in Tokyo in Japan. There were a number of star athletes participating in it. They were competing for the medals. But the stress and pressure to win does affect their mental health. Simon Biles was one such talented athlete who was forced to withdraw from the competition due to her mental health issues. Former Olympic figure skater and bronze medalist Gracie Gold states:
“If Simone [Biles] had withdrawn from an injury, nobody would have said, ‘Oh yeah? Let me see that X-ray. Put that X-ray on Twitter for all of us to see so we can determine if you withdrawing from an injury is valid.'”
Drew Petersen and his mental struggles
Drew Petersen is a mountain skier and has mental health problems since 2017. He is now and advocate on mental health and says:
“It’s hard to talk about. It’s hard to talk about our own struggles, it’s hard to talk about things that we feel shame around, or that we were led to believe … we’re supposed to deal with on our own,”
“We need to talk about real stories, we need to talk about real human experience. And that’s why I just pull no punches and then share as openly as I do,”
“A lot of people have seen me in ski films and in ski magazines. But what that leaves out is a massive part of the human experience. So I think that it’s important to show people that it’s not all unicorns and rainbows out there.”
Drew has highlighted his dealings with mental health issues in the film Ups and Downs. He had PTSD, depression, type II bipolar disorder and also suicidal thoughts. He says:
“And I wanted to make sure that it ended by making it clear that this is a lifelong journey. We need to get to a point where health is talked about with the physical and mental sides being equal components.”
Gracie Gold talks society and mental health
Gracie admits that society is uncomfortable talking about mental health. But that should not be the situation. Gracie says:
“I was advised by some powers that be to not put ‘suicidal ideation’ in my press release and to put ‘anxiety’ instead — depression, anxiety and disordered eating — because anxiety was more palatable … to make other people comfortable.”
She took treatment at a therapy center that helped her immensely. She speaks about it because it resonates with many athletes. Team USA officials have made arrangements so that their athletes can access hotlines, counseling, and group therapy for their mental health. Athletes are grateful for this initiative that they feel is a step in the right direction.