Athletes may not be superheroes, but with the amount of pressure they carry on their shoulders, they might as well be. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, 24, who made her debut at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, has made her mental health as much a priority recently as her dedication is to the sport. While she is preparing herself for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Simone does not forget to take some time off for herself and completely recharge every Sunday. In her recent interview with Health Magazine, she shared, “I really like to relax. So, I’ll hang by the pool with my boyfriend, or have my family come over.” Although she credits her parents for being a solid support system for her throughout the years, clearly her boyfriend, Jonathan Owens, is also helping Simone when it comes to dealing with the pressure of playing a professional sport.
“Since we are both professional athletes, we tend to eat very healthy,” she says. “But I do love to snack. My weakness is cookies or sour candy.” Jonathan, 25, is a defensive back for the Houston Texans, and has been dating Simone for the past year. The two have been very public with their relationship, constantly posting pictures and supporting each other on social media, and it’s become clear that Simone has found an awesome teammate for this game we call life.
During her interview, Simone also spoke about seeking outside help from a professional to aid in her self-care. “For a while, I saw a psychologist once every two weeks,” she shared. “That helped me get in tune with myself so that I felt more comfortable and less anxious.” This admission comes on the heals of another prolific young athlete, Naomi Osaka announcing on May 31 that she was withdrawing from the French Open, citing her mental health. The 23-year-old, four-time Grand Slam champion was met with criticism for the decision by some, but many more came to her defense, like follow tennis champ, Serena Williams.
As for Simone, aside from cooking healthy meals with her BF, the two also like to challenge each other. In the trailer for Simone’s new Facebook special, Simone vs Herself, she gives a glimpse of her life both on and off the mat. Simone is seen giving Jonathan a run-down of her daily workout routines. “We’re gonna do a rope challenge, gymnast vs NFL player,” Simone tells him in the clip. Obviously, Simone wins, but Jonathan takes his defeat like a gentleman.
Earlier this week, Simone made her mark in history at the United States Championships by winning her seventh U.S All Around Championship, shortly after already leaving her fans stunned by landing a Yurchenko double pike at U.S Classics last month. Since competing in her first Olympic games alongside teammates; Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman, where the five young athletes represented team USA, and became known as the “Final Five” after winning the Women’s Team Event. The spotlight has not simmered on Simone, who has continued to compete, train and exude excellence in the years since. As she prepares to compete once again at the Olympics this year, a good support system may just help the young athlete achieve Olympic gold for team USA.