You might think that once you’ve “made it” in the world of professional sports, your celebrity life is just a dream run, right? Think again. As we have seen far too often in this pandemic landscape recently, the competitive stressors have been enough for professional athletes to bow out of the running of some serious events and matches at stake.

Take 2 examples of some of the world’s most elite competitive athletes: tennis star Naomi Osaka and olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles. 

By all accounts, Naomi Osaka has an incredible celebrity life. She is still in the prime competing years of her life, and is the highest-earning female athlete of any sport. Osaka is the only woman to reach the Forbes 50 highest paid athletes. Even with all of this success and renown, she has recently decided to step out of competing for the time being for her mental health.

Simone Biles had some devastating emotional issues to deal with during the recent Tokyo olympics and wasn’t able to attain a gold medal even though she has single handedly redefined the sport of gymnastics. It takes bravery in today’s critical world to step out of competition when everyone would have you continue.

Learn more about women’s sports in the visual deep dive below.

The Business of Women