Celebrating the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, we would like to introduce you to a number of neurodiverse Olympic athletes.
Athletes from around the world will compete for medals and glory this month in the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2021. The physical struggles athletes face preparing for the Olympics are always on the forefront of discussions. Broken bones, concussions, strains and many other physical injuries are always considered and athletes who overcome them are always encouraged and cheered for. But what about the hidden challenges? The challenges that you can’t see with your bare eyes?
From our side of the field, we want to shine the light on a number of champions who were able to achieve their goals in their respective sports while facing invisible struggles with mental challenges. Brains work differently from one person to another and some people can be prejudiced towards others who are different, thinking they don’t have what it takes to compete and win . But these athletes were able to achieve their sporting dreams while facing these challenges head on and with pride.
There are of course numerous kinds of neurodiversity. In this series we will meet athletes who live with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Dyslexia (Difficulty with reading, writing and spelling), ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), Tourette’s (Disorder that involves repetitive movements or unwanted sounds), Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder) and Down Syndrome.
Whether they were competing in the Olympics, the Paralympics, or the Special Olympics, these champions have broken down barriers and inspired thousands of people to never give up and always get up.