Michael Phelps Delivers Powerful Comments on Mental Health at 2020 Tokyo Olympics

by Joe Rutland

U.S. Olympic gold medal champion Michael Phelps did not hold back when talking about mental health at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Phelps, who has been working during the Summer Games for NBC, had some pointed words to share during a conversation with Mike Tirico. Check this out as a portion of their interview is shown below from NBC’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics coverage.

The topic of mental health has been front and center at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after Team USA gymnast Simone Biles bowed out of different events.

Biles has used her mental health situation as a reason to step away from the competition.

Michael Phelps, who has been transparent about his own mental health struggles, recently appeared on NBC’s Today show. Phelps offered his support for the 24-year-old world champion gymnast at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“We’re human beings,” he said on Wednesday. “We have emotions. We deal with things just like everybody else does. It’s difficult. I would say we want [to have] support. We feel the love from everybody else.”

Phelps Said It ‘Broke His Heart’ To See Biles Step Away At 2020 Tokyo Olympics

While providing coverage for the Games, he stated, “Mental health over the last 18 months is something people are talking about. Nobody is perfect. So yes, it is OK not to be OK.”

He supports Biles’ decision to withdraw, yet also admitted that it “broke his heart.”

Biles is often referred to as the greatest of all time in gymnastics’ competition. She withdrew from last Thursday’s solo event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after not participating in Wednesday’s team competition.

She has been relatively quiet online at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Last Wednesday, she retweeted another gymnast’s tweet, which said she’d been through enough trauma after being a sexual abuse victim of Larry Nassar.

Last Tuesday, Phelps said, “The easiest way for me to say this is athletes and Olympic athletes in general, we need someone who we can trust, somebody that can let us be ourselves and listen. Allow us to become vulnerable. Somebody who’s not going to try to fix us.”

Olympic Champ Said Katie Ledecky ‘Would’ve Destroyed’ Him In Pool

Phelps won nearly 30 medals during a span of five Olympics. But even he admits there are some swimmers, including fellow USA teammates, that can actually take him on and win. 

In an interview, Phelps said that Katie Ledecky, a fellow Team USA swimmer who is a rising star even after finishing her competition in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, would have actually beat him back in the day.

“I had the privilege to train with her at the last training camp, in 2016,” Phelps said. “I’m very happy that she didn’t do the exact set with us that day because she would’ve destroyed me.”