Recently it was revealed that Simone Biles was taking a banned substance at the Olympics. What was that substance? Ritalin.
And that’s how we discovered that Simone Biles has ADHD.
So before I go any further, it’s important to note that because she was taking a controlled substance for a medical purpose, and had filed the necessary paperwork, she wasn’t cheating.
So now that that’s cleared up, I just want to go ahead and admire her.
First of all, I want to just say how impressive it is that she was able to get all those medals with ADHD. Even on my meds, I still have some difficulty ignoring some things – for example, the ridiculous hammering going on in my lecture halls right now. And yet Biles was able to go in front of a huge cheering crowd, with things going on all over the floor, and still crush it. Even with meds, that’s an amazing feat.
But I also want to admire how she handled this news. She completely owned her ADHD and her use of medications to treat it.
And considering the stigma that still revolves around ADHD (see the article about how french kids don’t get ADHD – which is completely BS because by that logic my mother, brother, grandfather, and I never should have ADHD) it’s important to have celebrities step up and make this normal. It’s important for people like Biles to tell us that having ADHD isn’t something to be ashamed of. And hopefully her ownership of her ADHD can help us push this issue forward.
So while it sucks that Biles’s medical files were hacked into in a *Russian* effort to delegitimize her amazing performance at the Olympics, maybe her response to it can help our country destigmatize ADHD and the use of medications to treat it.