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2021 Notebook: For athletes, mental health took center stage

Simone Biles heading to Louisville as part of new gymnastics tour
Simone Biles heading to Louisville as part of new gymnastics tour(tcw-wave)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 10:24 PM EST
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(AP) - It was the year that mental health took a prominent position in the sports world — led by two female athletes, Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka.

Biles came back to earn a bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics after taking herself out of several competitions to deal with a dreaded mental block. Osaka pulled out of the French Open before the second round for a mental health break. Together these sagas produced a substantive conversation about mental health and athletes. One AP journalist who covered it says of Biles that it took someone at her level to make it OK for athletes at other levels to care for their emotional health.

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