US snowboarding star opens on how Naomi Osaka helped her open up about mental health

Osaka has become one of the biggest advocates for athletes' mental health.

by Dzevad Mesic
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US snowboarding star opens on how Naomi Osaka helped her open up about mental health

American snowboarding star Chloe Kim says Naomi Osaka opening up about mental health helped her become more open about her own mental health problems. At the French Open last year, Osaka opened up about her battle with depression and anxiety.

Since then, Osaka has become one of the biggest advocates for athletes' mental health. This past April, Kim announced her decision to skip the entire 2022/23 season so she could focus on her mental health. "I think speaking about mental health is really important because a lot of people experience it and we need to make it so that people feel comfortable speaking about their struggles and seeking help because, I mean, I needed help," Kim said, per Sportskeeda.

"I got that inspiration from Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka knowing that this was something that I had struggled with but seeing other high-level athletes coming out and speaking about their struggles, this was very inspirational for me and I felt how big an impact I made.

So, it was important for me to speak about it as well."

Osaka inspired Kim to open up about her mental health problems

Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam champion and one of the top female athletes in the world. But Osaka admits not everything is great and perfect about being a major superstar.

"I think all of us athletes can relate to feeling pressure, not only from the outside world, but the pressure we also place on ourselves. As an athlete, strength is key to how you are perceived, so for me admitting I wasn't always okay was a big step.

The good thing is that I learned after speaking up that not only was I not alone, but admitting I needed a break meant I was not weak. In fact, it takes more strength to speak up than to stay quiet," Osaka explained.

Naomi Osaka
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