After Earning Bronze in 200 Meters, Noah Lyles Opens Up About Mental Health
Before leaving for Tokyo, he collapsed crying in front of his girlfriend, he said, “just talking about how difficult it is to get through this year.”
Lyles had always told himself that he would give up the sport if he lost his passion, he said. But while he ultimately chose to continue training and competing, he was determined not to let the track control his life. In the process, he said, he sought more balance. He highlighted his interests in music, art and fashion.
“Even if it doesn’t go well, I still have a life outside of it,” he said. “I have places I can go. I’m not defined by being an Olympic bronze medalist, or a world gold medalist, or the high school kid who turned pro. It’s not who I am; I am Noah Lyles.
He was most moved, however, when he opened up about his relationship with his brother, Josephus, a sprinter who failed to make the US Olympic team this summer. When they were kids, said Noah Lyles, it was actually his brother’s dream to compete in the Games.
“It wasn’t even my dream,” Lyles said sobbing. “I just wanted to call because I loved my brother, and I wanted to do it together. And that got us here, and I feel like he should be here.
In the 200-meter final, held in an empty stadium, Lyles finished behind Andre De Grasse of Canada and Kenny Bednarek, Lyles’ US teammate. Lyles called her bronze medal “boring”.
“I didn’t win,” he said. “But at the same time, it’s a great achievement.”
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