Olympic men’s 200m bronze medallist Noah Lyles insists he is a “fighter” and says that being open about his mental health is not a sign he is ready to walk away from the track.
Lyles broke down on Wednesday after trailing Andre de Grasse and compatriot Kenneth Bednarek to finish third in an event he had been tipped to win.
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The American, who endured a difficult year having watched his brother, Josephus, fail to make the USA Olympic squad, revealed on Twitter last August that he was taking antidepressants.
Mental health has been a prominent topic at the Games and Lyles believes people are beginning to realise that athletes are not super-human as Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka and others share their own experiences.
“It definitely is a moment where a lot of people can look back and say, ‘oh, you know, these athletes actually have feelings’,” Lyles said.
“Because I’ve been very vocal of [the fact] I’m a human being, I’m not a superhero, I’m not a mutant. I have feelings, I have emotions.
“Just because I go out there and run fast doesn’t mean that I don’t come home and hurt and get tired, and want to go have fun and stuff like that.”

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He added: “I’m a fighter, that’s how I made it this far in fact. Just because I’m struggling doesn’t mean I’m going to quit.
“I’m very adamant that I don’t believe in really giving up. Failing or not succeeding it’s when you have completely stopped and given up and not given your all.”
Lyles was affected by the killing of George Floyd last year, and has since been an advocate for change in the USA.
In June, he raised a gloved fist ahead of the men’s 100m final at the USA Olympic track trials and says he wants to use his platform to move the conversation around race in his country forward.
“We as a black community are always fighting,” he said. “I mean, we’ve been fighting for years, hundreds of years and anything that I feel that can somewhat help push the conversation or push the agenda, is helping towards moving forward.
“Me coming up here and saying I’m representing my country and I’m proud to represent my country but at the same time I want changes for my country, I think that’s automatically a question of people being like, ‘well, what does he mean by that?’
“Well, now you need to go and do research and figure out like what I’ve been saying for the past year, and of course that will drive the conversation forward.”
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