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A Better East Texas: Olympic stress

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 1:55 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - We are seeing a new factor dominating the Olympic headlines taking place in Tokyo, Japan.

The United States has a history of being the total medal favorite by dominating sports like basketball, gymnastics, soccer, and others. But this year is different. There are no fans thanks to the covid pandemic that continues to rage in Japan, and protocols for athletes’ safety have taken a heavy toll on the typical experience. So, it should not come as a huge surprise that some of the game’s biggest stars and hopefuls are struggling. And they are struggling because of the intense pressure to perform and win at the highest level.

Simone Biles is the most prominent one to withdraw because of her mental health – read into that the pressure has overwhelmed her.

But we also see others falling to the pressure as well. That seems like a relatively recent condition where athletes that have dedicated their lives to their craft are pulling out of the highest possible competition in the world. But it is happening. Are we seeing the by-products of early lives – childhoods – that are packed full of performance pressure by peers and parents that do anything for their children to be in a position to excel in a sporting environment? It is certainly a moment for families to consider what they are putting children through and if it is truly reasonable and for the right reason. Otherwise, we may see more casualties – Olympics and all levels below – and that will take a toll that no amount of training can overcome.

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