Aug 19, 2021 - Sports

Simone Biles to advocate for mental health in post-Olympic tour

Simone Biles of Team United States in action during the Women's Balance Beam Final.
Simone Biles of Team USA in action during the Women's balance beam final. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

U.S. gymnast Simone Biles plans to raise awareness around mental health as part of the post-Olympic Gold Over America Tour, AP reports.

Driving the news: Biles didn't have the Olympic experience she expected after pulling out of several finals to prioritize her mental health. But she says she wouldn't "change anything for the world," adding that she "gave an outlet for athletes to speak up about their mental health and their well-being and learn that you can put yourself (as a person) first before the athlete,” per AP.

  • Biles also said the support she's received since returning from Tokyo has been similar to what she got when she brought home five medals, including four golds, from the 2016 Olympics. "It's been so supportive, so loving, which I really wasn't expecting," Biles said, per AP.

The big picture: The post-Olympic tour is a 35-city exhibition that kicks off in Tucson, Arizona, on Sept. 21.

  • The tour will feature gymnastics and dance but also a segment led by former UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi on the importance of taking care of yourself mentally, per AP.
  • Biles, who's a headliner for the tour, said they wanted to make it "as relatable as possible and let these kids know that we’ve been going through these things,” AP reports.
  • Biles' Olympic teammates Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey, among other gymnasts, will also join the tour.

Go deeper: Simone Biles' exit brings global attention to mental health

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