Spa Business 4 2023

Page 10

PHOTO: COURTESY OF SIMONE BILES

SPA PEOPLE

by Megan Whitby, assistant editor

spa people I’ve done gymnastics on broken ribs, shattered toes, kidney stones and experienced sexual abuse

Biles has 37 major medals to her name

Simone Biles, US gymnast

T

he world’s most decorated gymnast Simone Biles headlined the 17th Global Wellness Summit in Miami this November (see p88) with a keynote on mental health and resilience – an area that’s gathering great momentum in spa circles. Biles – who has 37 Olympic and World Championship medals under her belt – took to the stage to share how she’s championing mental wellbeing.

“I know now that you can’t be afraid of being great or to unleash that power in your mind because you can open yourself up to so many things. “Obviously it was very hard being on a world stage at such a young age and having so many people judge me – and now you’ve also got everyone online trying to get their 2 cents in too. So I try not to think about it. I’ve become a lot better at blocking out that noise.”

PAUSING FOR THOUGHT

Talking about the importance of prioritising mental wellness and taking a break, also resonated with delegates. Although she’s only 26, Biles has already overcome major challenges in her career. In 2016, news broke that she was a survivor of the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal and in 2021 she withdrew from the final of the Tokyo Olympics after suffering from a case of the twisties.

PRIORITISING SELF-BELIEF

10 spabusiness.com issue 4 2023

Self-belief and taking a break are key, said Biles

PHOTO: GLOBAL WELLNESS SUMMIT 2023

With more and more operators offering mental health programmes, adding a focus on self-belief could be key according to Biles, who competed in her first Olympic games aged just 16. “When I was growing up and realised I had a gift for gymnastics, I was afraid of being great and would self-sabotage,” she said, adding that it was only after seeking the help of a sports psychologist and learning to believe in herself that she began competing to the best of her ability.


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