Earning four gold medals in the Rio Olympics is enough to make Simone Biles an American role model. The gymnast is beyond talented and incredibly determined. Yet there's another reason the 19-year-old is admirable. After her medical records were leaked online, she decided to clear the air in a straightforward, honest way. On Twitter on Tuesday, Biles opened up about having ADHD, and in doing so, showed it's nothing to be ashamed of. She turned an invasion of privacy into a teachable moment — and she should get another gold medal for that move. She tweeted,
I have ADHD and I have taken medication for it since I was a kid. Please know, I believe in clean sport, have always followed the rules, and will continue to do so as fair play is critical to sport and is very important to me.
She posted a second message, which really drives the message home. Biles wrote, "Having ADHD, and taking medicine for it is nothing to be ashamed of nothing that I'm afraid to let people know." I was already a fan of Biles when she revealed her crush on Zac Efron (making her the most relatable medalist ever), but this takes my appreciation and respect to a whole new level.
Biles is absolutely right — ADHD is nothing to be ashamed of. It also isn't a reason to question or doubt her abilities in gymnastics. To recap, the World Anti-Doping Agency's database was broken into by Russian hackers on Tuesday, according to ABC News. They then leaked medical information for several female Olympic athletes — not just Biles, but Serena and Venus Williams as well. The hackers found that Biles tested positive for methylphenidate in numerous tests, but this was cleared by doctors, given her noted condition of ADHD.
The International Gymnastics Federation approved her taking the drug, ABC News reported. On top of that, the USA Gymnastics Twitter account posted a statement defending her following the leak. "Simone has filed the proper paperwork per USADA and WADA requirements, and there is no violation," wrote Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.
While the hackers were likely trying to invalidate Biles' accomplishments, they ultimately failed. If anything, they proved just how strong — not only physically, but also mentally — she is. This trend of leaking women's personal information is both disappointing and disturbing. Just look at the recent hacking of Leslie Jones' personal website if you need further proof that it's getting out of hand. Or consider the obsession with Hillary Clinton's pneumonia and medical records. These are all instances of revealing women's personal info, with the goal of exposing weakness. In each of these cases, that agenda backfired and just proved how strong these ladies actually are.
As if I didn't already have a ton of respect for Biles as an athlete, she just proved who she is as a human-being. Plus, it's pretty cool that any kids who may have ADHD themselves have a new role model, proving the condition doesn't have to get in the way of their dreams.