Naomi Osaka is the name on everyone’s lips. The tennis player has made her first appearance since withdrawing from Wimbledon to deal with her mental health. However, the athlete has turned the negativity around by winning Best Athlete at the ESPYs. “I just really want to not say a long speech because I’m a bit nervous …,” said the 23-year-old beginning her acceptance speech. I know this year has been really, it hasn’t even finished, but it’s been really tough for a lot of us,” said Osaka, most likely referencing the craziness surrounding her need to protect her mental health.
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Best Athlete And More
“For me, I just want to say, I really love you guys, and this is my first ESPYs, so it’s really cool to be surrounded by all these incredible athletes.” The athlete graciously accepted her award but also took a moment to gush about all her favorite athletes being in the same room and her having the opportunity to meet them. “I think all of you guys are really cool and I watch some of you on TV so it’s really surreal to be here and yeah, thank you so much and I really appreciate it.” Osaka’s mental health break began in May when she decided to not participate in the French Open.
Overcoming A Dark Time
She was fined ultimately $15,000 for trying to protect her mental health. In June, she decided not to participate in the 2021 Wimbledon tournament. “Naomi won’t be playing Wimbledon this year,” said her agent in a statement. “She is taking some personal time with friends and family. She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans.” Osaka also spoke out earlier after withdrawing from the French Open and invoking a media ban. “I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.”
Mental Health Advocate
While Osaka did not intend to become a distraction by announcing the media ban and eventually leaving the French Open, her bravery caught on and an outpouring of support and some hate made the situation go viral. On the bright side, she knows that she has the support of her fellow athletes and her fans which made her win at the ESPYs all more meaningful. The formal event gave Osaka the chance to dress up and show out. This was exciting for her because she is used to wearing athletic wear. She chose to stun in a bold Louis Vuitton outfit.
Things Are Looking Up!
Osaka was recently named the new brand ambassador for the fashion house, so the outfit is appropriate for more than one reason. The blouse was a bold zebra print with a dramatic shoulder accented by gold studs. It was paired with a turquoise skirt and a pair of pointed black heels, not too tall though. She seemed in good spirits before the show started as she posed for photos on the red carpet. Her skin was literally glowing. The Tokyo Olympics is set to start on July 23 and will run until August 8. Hopefully, fans get to see Osaka kill it on the court!
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