By John List

“With the Beijing Winter Olympics upon us, Team USA has made clear that it is approaching this year’s Games with a special emphasis on the mental health of its athletes.

This perhaps comes as no surprise after American gymnast Simon Biles set off an impassioned conversation about the emotional tribulations of elite athletes when she withdrew from several events of the Tokyo Olympics last year. She liberated others to share their own struggles with performing under intense pressure (not to mention televised scrutiny), and this new openness shows no signs of abating. At the end of January, top-ranked Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina announced that he would take a season off from the World Surf League to better tend to his own mental health. Role models like Biles and Medina are especially important right now as the COVID-19 pandemic has arguably left more people than ever facing mental-health crises of their own.”

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