4 Times  Simone Biles Changed the Conversation on Mental Health

For years, gymnast Simone Biles has won awards: 25 medals, including 4 Olympic gold, first woman to win five All-Around World Championships, TIME 100, Forbes 30 under 30.

Something was amiss on July 25, 2021, in the Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying round. By day's end, Simone had made many unusual mistakes. She tweeted, “It wasn't an easy day, but I got through it.

Simone subsequently claimed that she had mental health concerns and the "twisties," a gymnastics phenomena in which athletes lose their awareness of where they are in the air during twists and flips.

Some fans and pundits condemned Simone for retreating, while others supported her mental health goals. In two weeks last summer, Simone, the most dominant gymnast in decades, redefined a champion. 

She now wants to encourage other young girls to be tough, competitive, and brave enough to speak out. She worked with the sportswear company Athleta to make a line of activewear for kids 6 to 12 years old.

"They can do anything they set their minds to," Biles says. "Please remember that."We talked to Simone about her big change to find out why she made it, what she's learned, and what she wants other people to know.

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