Olympic Gymnast Gabby Douglas Empathizes With Tennis Star Naomi Osaka’s Decision To Withdraw From 2021 French Open
In a recent interview with USA Today, Douglas stated that, "every person knows what they need to do to fix themselves, to heal themselves, and everyone is different.”
“Being an athlete, we go through so much already,” she continued. “If you need to step back, that’s what you need to do.”
If there’s anyone who understands the pressure to perform and keep it all together during crunch time, it’s 25-year-old, all-around medalist, Douglas. She reflectedon her Olympic journey, specifically 2016, telling the outlet it “really did a number on me.”
"Coming from that [I focused on] really healing myself, healing my mind and my body," said Douglas. "I’m not on social media a lot because social media did damage to my personality, in a way. So [I’ve] just been taking years off of social media, off my phone, and really just kind of getting back to who I am."
In 2016, Douglas became the first African American individual all-around champ at the Olympics. She is also the first U.S. gymnast to earn gold in the all-around individual competition and team at the same Olympics.
On May 26, Osaka, 23, posted a statement announcing she would not be doing press for the French Open, noting the toll it takes on an athlete’s mental health. In response, she was fined $15,000 by the tournament’s organization for failure to honor contractual obligations.
In response, Osaka withdrew from the tournament and released another statement, citing her long bouts with depression and anxiety.