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San Diego Sports Psychologist Weighs In On Simone Biles’ Mental Gymnastics

Simone Biles celebrates after competing in the uneven bars to win the all aro...

Photo by Charlie Riedel / AP

Above: Simone Biles celebrates after competing in the uneven bars to win the all around senior women's competition at the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo.

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Shira Oretzky is a San Diego sport psychologist and certified mental performance consultant who works with collegiate and Olympic athletes. She joined Midday Edition to talk about how Olympic Gymnast ... Read more →

Aired: August 3, 2021 | Transcript

Simone Biles returned to compete in the balance beam final winning Bronze as gymnastics event finals wrapped up Tuesday morning. That brings Biles' Olympic metals to seven, tying Shannon Miller's record for the most successful American gymnast in the games.

RELATED: She’s Still Dealing With The Twisties, But Simone Biles Wins Another Medal In Tokyo

In many ways her 2021 Olympic journey has been symbolic of the mental health balance one must have to compete. Last week the champion withdrew from competition to focus on her mental health before returning. Her decision drew mostly praise from athletes.

RELATED: Simone Biles Highlights The Unique Stresses Athletes Feel At The Tokyo Olympics

Shira Oretzky is a sport psychologist and certified mental performance consultant who has worked with Olympic athletes and collegiate athletes from USD and SDSU. She focuses on teaching athletes how to balance their mental health, mental performance and the pressure of competition. Oretzky joined Midday Edition to talk about how Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from competition and focus on her well-being opened up dialogue about mental health challenges athletes experience, while providing an example to everyone on how to prioritize their own mental health.

An earlier version of this story said Oretzky worked with athletes at USC. She works with athletes at USD and SDSU.

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