On Sept. 13, 2016, a group of hackers leaked the medical records of some Olympic champions.
The hackers, who call themselves Fancy Bears, were actually Russian espionage agent at least according to the World Anti-Doping Agency, whose undertaking it is to make sure that athletes aren’t pumped full of steroids or nanobots or whatever else might help them cheat.
And, supposedly, these files are the first of many more to come that will expose the athletes who were reportedly got away with illegal drug enhancement at the 2016 summer games in Rio.
But the files didn’t show what people expected.
Simone Biles, a “Final Five” gymnast who won four gold medals at the Rio games, was one of the victims of the hack.
And, as you can imagine, that set her in an awkward place. Her tremendous display in Rio attained her one of the most medaled gymnasts in history, beating the competition at one point with largest margin watched since 2006. And that’s without even mentioning the bajillion other awards she’s won in her 19 years of life.
But after Fancy Bears revealed that Biles was utilizing “illicit” psychostimulants and amphetamines, her remarkable accomplishments were abruptly called into question. Was she a cheater? Did she actually earn the medals she won? Did she have an unfair advantage?
But it turns out that Simone’s “illicit” drugs were actually only a standard prescription given to people with a certain disorder:
Having ADHD, and taking medicine for it is nothing to be ashamed of nothing that I’m afraid to let people know.
Simone Biles (@ Simone_Biles) September 13, 2016
This wasn’t quite the dark, insidious secret people were expecting, but it’s still a pretty big deal for folks like me who also have ADHD.
In fact, ADHD affects about 5 % of the population and it tends to manifest differently for women, in particular. Unfortunately, ADHD meds can also be controversial some people think it’s overdiagnosed or think we use it as a style to describe energetic children with a proclivity for video games and nothing more. Others, like the Fancy Bears hackers, like to point to the chemical similarities between certain ADHD medications and other illicit substances.
Proper therapy for ADHD runs a long way in helping people to succeed, just like Simone Biles .
And for those who are struggling with the dishonor and stigma around the condition, watching an Olympic champion open up about ADHD is incredibly inspiring.
If anything, this revelation somehow builds Biles’ accomplishments seem even more amazing . In many routes, she’s had to work twice as hard for them .
So congratulations, Simone on your Olympic victories and on the admirable perseverance that induces you a mental health role model too.
Read more: www.upworthy.com