At the age of two, she began taking gymnastics classes, which helped build her muscles and flexibility. By the age of four, she was already competing in state and national gymnastics competitions. Some of her biggest achievements include winning five gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and tying the record for most medals won by an American in a single Olympics.
But There’s more to her than just her record-breaking career.
When she was younger, Simone struggled with ADHD.
ADHD stands for Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
It's considered a neurological “disorder” that impacts the parts of the brain that help us plan, focus on, and execute tasks.
In order words, Simone had trouble focusing, which made school and everyday life challenging
As a kid, she struggled with focusing in school. She would often get bored and have a hard time paying attention and usually get in trouble for not focusing or not turning in her homework on time.
She was even told that she would never amount to anything and that she’s too much of a troublemaker to be worth investing in.
When she was diagnosed with ADHD, she finally had an explanation for why she was having such a hard time in school.
Luckily, She learned how to channel her attention and her emotions in a way that has allowed her to become one of the greatest gymnasts in history. And basically dominated the sport of gymnastics during the 2016 Rio Olympics.
As a professional athlete, Simone has often been vocal about her ADHD medication. She has shared openly that she takes Vyvanse, a commonly used ADHD medication, to help her with her ADHD. She has even shared videos of herself taking her medication, which has helped normalize the conversation about ADHD medication. By being so open about her ADHD and her medication, Simone has helped to break down the stigma surrounding ADHD and ADHD medication.
Without her medication, she says she wouldn’t have been able to reach the heights she did in her career. She has even launched her own company, 4AD, which provides access to ADHD medication to those who couldn’t otherwise afford it. The fact that Simone is so open about her diagnosis and about the role her medication has played in her success is an incredible example of what can happen when we are open about our symptoms.
She is also open about the other ways she manages her ADHD, such as with the help of a coach and other strategies.