Simone Biles Fights Mental Health Stigma, Reminds Us Why She’s Our Fave

by Emma Bredthauer

Simone Biles, record-breaking Olympic gold-medal gymnast and all-around baddie, just proved once again that she deserves all of our love and admiration. Earlier this week, a Russian hacking organization leaked the private medical information of many Olympic athletes; targeting seemed to be focused on black American women, including Biles and Venus and Serena Williams.

Biles’ medical results showed that she used methylphenidate, more commonly known as Ritalin. In response to the leak, Biles sent out a series of tweets, saying that she takes Ritalin for ADHD and that she’s not ashamed of it: “I have ADHD and I have taken medicine for it since I was a kid. Please know, I believe in clean sport, have always followed the rules, and will continue to do so as fair play is critical to sport and is very important to me. Having ADHD, and taking medicine for it is nothing to be ashamed of [and] nothing that I’m afraid to let people know.”

Screen Shot 2016 09 26 at 4.39.22 PMvia Twitter
Biles’s fans tweeted their support, including the Tony-Award winning Color Purple actress/singer/songwriter/all-around stunning human Cynthia Erivo, whom Biles had just met at New York Fashion Week (jelly):

Screen Shot 2016 09 26 at 4.41.26 PMvia Twitter

Even Hillary Clinton took to Twitter Tuesday to commend Biles for her bravery:

Screen Shot 2016 09 26 at 4.42.47 PMvia Twitter
Writers at Vox argue that the hack was an attempt to diminish the achievements of Biles and the Williams sisters (whose records were also leaked) by fueling the (sadly, prevalent) notion that black women athletes “somehow don’t deserve their accolades because of the color of their skin,” and implying that the athletes relied performance-enhancing drugs to get ahead rather than their own ability. The piece mentions gymnast Carlotta Ferlito’s now-infamous 2013 remark disparaging Biles’s success as the new world champion by saying, “next time we should also paint our skin black so then we can win, too.” Biles’s indisputable successes at Rio further highlights the narrow-mindedness of Ferlito’s comments.

For her part, Biles seems ready to move on from the whole incident, retweeting Thursday a link to a Vogue interview where she shares that her couple name with Zac Efron would be “Zimone” and that her walk-on song is “Calm Down” by G-Eazy (and is also, incidentally, a good piece of advice for the haters). 

Simone Biles

Simone Biles has shown immense grace and strength in the face of a major breach of privacy that she should have never had to face — and may we remind you, she’s only 19? 

We love you, Simone. Never change.

More from BUST 

5 Mindblowing Women’s Gymnastics Moments You May Have Missed

Nine Badass Women Who Have Stunned Us With Their Strength

These Astounding Videos Of 16-Year-Old Laurie Hernandez Will Make You Wish The Olympics Started Tomorrow



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