In a recent interview with ViBe & Wrestling, WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair detailed why decorated gymnast Simone Biles inspired her by prioritizing mental health at the recently-concluded Tokyo Olympics.
“Simone Biles is so inspiring on what she did specially in such a big stage and she allowed herself to be vulnerable and put her mental health before her physical habilities,” Belair said.
“The message is that athletes are humans and it is so hard mentally and we have to look at her and admire her for what she did – because there are times as athletes, we felt something was not going well but we kept on pushing and it’s ok to put your mental health first.”
Belair then went onto recount a story from her years as a collegiate athlete.
“In college I had a coach who did that for me,” said Belair, a former All-SEC and All-American track and field athlete. “I was struggling so much mentally with depression, anxiety, eating disorders… and he told me: ‘You have to go and talk to a doctor, you are back on track until they clear you’ and he put my mental health first. At that time, I didn’t understand but he helped me so much as a human being and as an athlete too, even to this day.”
Belair thanked her husband, SmackDown Superstar Montez Ford, for words of reassurance during WrestleMania 37, where she defeated Sasha Banks in the main event of Night 1.
“I know my triggers I know how to manage my mental health better; it’s still a marathon and now for me is just… my husband is helping me so much, even for WrestleMania he was giving me affirmations all throughout the day. Every time I was saying something that sounded that I was doubting myself, or I was scared, he was giving me affirmations.
“So, surrounding myself with the love of my parents and dealing with like an imposter syndrome because they are telling me all the time: ‘Yes you can do this’ and I say: ‘Do I really can do this?’ ‘Yes of course you can do this’… But Simone Biles inspired me with all she did and any athlete can relate to her and she’s gonna help every athlete in all sports across the board.”
Belair will defend her title against Banks at the upcoming SummerSlam pay-per-view.