Olympic great Simone Biles sparks discussion about mental health after pulling out of 2nd Olympics event
Olympic great Simone Biles is sparking a discussion about mental health after pulling out of her second Olympics event in two days.
Biles knew something was up when she missed a whole rotation on her vault Tuesday and nearly fell on her landing.
She cited mental health concerns when she stepped away from the team competition.
Dr. Stephen Ferrando, with Westchester Medical Center, says Biles' decision is more than just about underperforming or jeopardizing a medal for her team.
She could risk her safety and face injury if she performs flips while mentally distracted.
Dr. Ferrando, who has been a psychiatrist for more than three decades, says it’s not just a passing trend among millennials or Gen Z-ers to take mental health days but a greater public awareness of taking care of your mind.
"Our prior attitudes as a society and as individuals is to buck up, to push through it, and unfortunately people have always succumbed to stress and distress and mental health issues, and they were stigmatized. Now, I think that we're de-stigmatizing it, and I think it's more likely that people are going to get the help that they need," says Ferrando.
Biles joins Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka and other high-profile athletes who have come out as mental health advocates recently.
Biles still has four more chances to compete, having qualified for all event finals: floor exercise, balance beam, uneven bars and vault.
She has yet to say whether she’ll participate in those.