Tokyo 2020 - 'I don't believe in giving up' - Noah Lyles won't walk away from track despite Olympic disappointment
“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," Lyles said. The USA sprint star had opened up about his struggles with mental health having won the bronze medal in the men's 200m at Tokyo 2020. You want it? We have it. Stream every Olympic event live on discovery+.
'Just because I'm struggling doesn't mean I'm going to quit' - Lyles after Tokyo frustration
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.”
'It's Canada's day!' - De Grasse storms to 200m gold ahead of USA duo
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.”
Watch every unmissable moment live from Tokyo 2020 across Eurosport, the Eurosport app and discovery+. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.