Mikaela Shiffrin opens up about mental health issues after getting inspired by legendary gymnast Simone Biles

<strong>Mikaela Shiffrin opens up about mental health issues after getting inspired by legendary gymnast Simone Biles</strong>

Simone Biles and Mikaela Shiffrin [Image Credit: Reuters/Longlines Media Center]

Mental health issues have always haunted athletes in all sports, but recently players have started to voice out their problems. Voicing out their issues takes a lot of courage, especially when one is in the spotlight. It wasn’t long before legendary gymnast Simon Biles took a break from Tokyo Summer Games to focus on mental health.


She withdrew from several competitions after vocalizing her mental struggles which were later praised by alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin. Being an Olympian herself, Mikaela knew how difficult it is for players to cope with their mental health issues. She praises Biles who took up the courage to voice out her problems.

Mikaela herself faced Olympic challenges following the incident of her father Jeff’s death. While speaking with People, she noted how every sport has its “own version of twisties”. Biles was the victim of twisties, an issue where a player loses their sense of understanding where they are in the air. For a gymnast, that’s a life-threatening issue.

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Mikaela Shiffrin talks about Olympic pressure and mental health issues

Mikaela Shiffrin [Image Credit: USA Today]
Mikaela Shiffrin [Image Credit: USA Today]

Mikaela Shiffrin talked with People commenting, “Having one of the most recognized and biggest voices in sports right now talk about this and show how real it is to [struggle], … it makes it a little bit easier to talk about”. “It gives all of us athletes the ability to say, ‘Oh, you’re not alone feeling that way. I’m not the only one who feels pressure.’ “

“For some sports it means you miss the goal, and for some sports it means you land on your neck instead of your feet, or you fall as you’re racing down an icy mountain”. “… And maybe some sports have a little higher risk, but the pressure is always there.”

Looking ahead to her career, Shiffrin notes that she may face challenges undoubtedly, but it is the courage to face them head-on and rise stronger. She admits that titles and numbers may covet her, but she defines her game to be more than that. 

Mikaela stated, “At the end of the day, you can drive yourself crazy looking at numbers and thinking about records and if you’re going to break it or if you’re not going to break it, and you can set yourself up to feel disappointed for the rest of your life”.


“But at the end of the day … my whole career, it’s been successful. It’s been highs and lows but I’m really proud of it. And I’m still racing. I’m not done yet, but I can look back and feel proud already.”

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