Olympic Bronze Medalist Noah Lyles Is Also A Self-Care Champ, Says He Has Two Therapists
Last year, the sprinter announced that he began taking antidepressants.
August 07, 2021 at 5:59 pm
Speaking with reporters after winning the bronze medal in the men's 200-meter dash, the Olympian said he recently stopped taking antidepressants which he began last year.
“I always said the day I wasn’t having fun with this sport, I’m going to leave it,” Lyles said, according to The Washington Post. “And for a little bit, I wasn’t having fun this year. I did want to leave. I had to make a decision. I was like, I got to get better. I can’t let this control me.”
The bronze medalist continued to shed light on the topic when he sat down with The Today Show on Thursday.
“I’ve always talked about mental health in my career,” he told Today. “And, now, as I got more and more popular, I got more and more attention, people watching me. So I feel that I was able to reach an even bigger audience."
The 24-year-old said he feels lucky to have so much support and wishes the same for everyone else struggling with mental wellness.
“There’s somebody out there who is probably struggling with the same issues I was and I want them to know that there is ways to feel better," he said. "They don’t have to keep feeling that way.”
The sprinter credits his mother and therapist for helping him overcome his challenges.
“I’ve been very fortunate enough to have my mother, who’s been in therapy most of her life and she got me in very early, so I now have two therapists, one for my personal life and one for my sports life,” he said.
Lyles' girlfriend has also been by his side during the challenging times.
"I have an amazing girlfriend and everybody’s very supportive. We all keep tabs on each other,” the runner said.
Like many of the Olympic athletes, Lyles had to overcome a challenging year exasperated by the pandemic. The Virginia native was also devastated after seeing the killing of George Floyd. He said the past year's hardships were weighing on his mind as he departed for Tokyo to chase glory. He just wished his brother, Josephus -- who narrowly missed qualifying for the 2021 Olympics -- was able to come along with him.
“I thank God every day I’m able to come out here, but at the same time, this wasn’t even my dream,” the bronze medalist said. “In 2012, my brother had the dream that he was going to come to the Olympics, and I’d really just tag along for the ride. Sometimes I think to myself, you know, this should be him.”
Lyles is one of several athletes to open up about mental health in recent months. Simone Biles sat out two Olympic competitions to focus on her mental well-being.
"I physically and mentally was not in the right headspace, and I didn't want to jeopardize my health and my safety because at the end of the day, it's not worth it,” the gymnast said.