Naomi Osaka Ready for Tokyo Olympics Following Mental Health Issues

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The tennis star, Naomi Osaka, opened up in a recent essay she wrote for TIME magazine. The title of her essay published in the July 19th issue is titled  “It’s OK To Not Be OK”. Osaka, on the cover of the magazine, says, “you can never please everyone”.

She realized that fact after she received mixed public responses to her French Open withdrawal. Osaka, 23, withdrew on May 31st from the French Open. She withdrew one day after being fined $15,000 for skipping a media sports conference.

She is speaking out in order to “refresh” the media conference rules calling them “out of date”. She’s encouraging Grand Slam organizers to revamp the rules to “make it better, more interesting, and more enjoyable” for reporters and players alike.

Osaka revealed in an Instagram post that she has fought with “long bouts of depression” ever since her singles victory at the 2018 US Open. Her agent announced her decision to skip Wimbleton on June 17th. The headlines ensued. She also felt pressure to explain her anxiety so that officials of the tournament would believe her.

While Osaka says she never intended to be the “spokesperson or face of athlete mental health, she is glad others can relate to and understand her story”.

Several high-profile people including Steph Curry, Novak Djokovic, Michelle Obama, and Meghan Markle have offered their help and support to Osaka, both privately and publicly.

Osaka has spent her time preparing for the Summer Games where she will represent Japan. “I’ve never competed in an Olympics”, she said. “Being in my home Country gives me added excitement.”



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