The 2021 Olympics are upon us but competition isn't the only thing that's got us buzzing. After a year of hitting that pause button, athletes have been springing back into training to prepare for something other than Tokyo: their mental health.
"(Seeing a psychologist) helped me get in tune with myself so that I felt more comfortable and less anxious."
American gymnast Simone Biles
"I have a great support group that has helped me over the years to stay strong and stay focused and overcome my OCD battles every day."
American boxer Ginny Fuchs
"I realized the importance of reaching out to people and just talking it through... it's OK to ask for help sometimes."
Sakura Kokumai, American karateka
"I think mental health is huge, and it's been a big focus of mine for the last five years or so... I believe that mental health translates to physical health and performance."
April Ross, American beach volleyball player
These athletes are bringing to light how crucial mental health is in their daily lives and on their journeys toward the future. As each one steps forward to tell the world about their mental health struggles, it chips away at the stigma that mental health isn't important. These athletes are speaking up to show the world that mental health can affect anyone - do you hear what they're saying?
"Olympic athletes have more options than ever before when it comes to mental health support, especially those with the biggest federations. Beyond the heightened conditions brought on by the pandemic, it's about addressing the needs of a generation of athletes more comfortable with seeking help." (USA Today)