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Black women, across generations, heed Biles’ Olympic example

Being a young Black woman in American life comes with its own built-in pressure to perform, and entails much more than meets the eye.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this July 27, 2021 file photo, Simone Biles, of the United States, performs on the vault during the artistic gymnastics women's final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, in Tokyo. Biles and Naomi Osaka are prominent young Black women under the pressure of a global Olympic spotlight that few human beings ever face. But being a young Black woman -- which, in American life, comes with its own built-in pressure to perform -- entails much more than meets the eye. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

Being a young Black woman in American life comes with its own built-in pressure to perform, and entails much more than meets the eye.

But for people like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles, both prominent young Black women athletes under the pressure of a global Olympic spotlight, the glare on the world's stage is even hotter.  

Both cited their mental health as reasons to step back from relentless competition and critique, a decision Black women across generations took notice of. 

It's part of an increasing discussion of mental health that is rising around race and sports, and in some cases is split by generational divides.

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