Olympic athletes may be the strongest and fastest people in the world, but there’s more to health than meets the eye.

The 2020 Tokyo Games brought mental health to the forefront as numerous athletes chose to prioritize their well-being over competing. Gold medalist Simone Biles became one of those Olympians when she decided to sit out the women’s gymnastics team finals. At the time, she admitted, “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times.”

Her decision sparked a discussion about the pressure athletes face when competing on a global stage.

In July 2020, Bode Miller spoke to E! News about the dark side of sports, saying, “Everything is focused on the physical side and it leaves [competitors] feeling very exposed on the emotional and mental state.”

And with the coronavirus pandemic still raging on, many athletes are traveling to Beijing without their usual support system because of COVID-19 protocols. 

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