SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair was interviewed recently on ViBe & Wrestling. During the interview, she talked about how the highly-decorated Olympian Simone Biles is an inspiration to her and athletes all over the world.
Biles withdrew from competition during the Tokyo Olympic Games due to issues with her mental health. The decision was a major talking around the globe. However, Biles returned to action to win the bronze medal in the balance beam finals.
Belair knows a thing or two about athletic competition. Before her WWE career, she was a track and field athlete and standout collegiate hurdler. Belair went on to become a CrossFit competitor before injury forced her to change her career options. Therefore the ‘EST of WWE’ is fully aware of the mental and physical struggles many athletes go through.
Here’s what Belair said:
“Simone Biles is… I think she’s so inspiring for what she did, especially on such a big stage, and to allow herself to be vulnerable and put her mental health before her physical abilities and trying to accomplish something physically. And I think it speaks volumes as well about the team and the coaches that she had, the fact that they were able to support her, and they actually went out there and earned their silver medal but they still support her. I think that’s amazing, the message that it sends about athletes, how athletes… we’re human. And it’s so hard mentally, and any athlete can look at her and admire her for what she did because there are so many times as athletes that we have felt ‘oh, maybe something’s not right’ but we still push through. And it’s ok to put your mental health first.
In college I had a coach who did that for me. I was struggling so much mentally with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and he benched me. He told me, ‘You have to go and talk to a doctor, you cannot get on the track until they clear you.’ So he put my mental health before anything else, and at the time I didn’t understand, but now that helped me so much as a human being and as an athlete too. Even to now, to this day, I understand. Like, I know my triggers, I know how to manage my mental health better. It’s still a marathon.
And now it’s, for me, it’s just… my husband helps me so much. Even before WrestleMania, he was giving me affirmations all throughout the day, every single day. Anytime I say anything that sounds like I was slightly doubting myself or I was scared, he was giving me affirmations. So surrounding myself with people that love me, my parents. And dealing with like, imposter syndrome sometimes like, be like ‘No, you can do this!’ And sometimes like, ‘Can I really do this? No, you can do this!’ But Simone Biles, she’s just inspiring for what she did and I think that any athlete can relate to her and it’s gonna help every athlete in all sports across the board.”
The WrestleMania 37 rematch is one of the marquee matches at the ‘Biggest Party of the Summer’.
h/t to Inside the Ropes for the transcription.
What do you make of Bianca Belair’s comments? Let us know in the comments below.