Olympic hero Peaty reveals mental health battle as he pulls out of championships
OLYMPIC hero Adam Peaty fears he is close to burnout and needs to rediscover his love for swimming.
The Staffordshire Pool Terrier has pulled out of next week’s British Swimming Championships at Ponds Forge in Sheffield for mental health reasons.
Peaty says he is “tired” and “not enjoying the sport” like he did at the start of his illustrious career.
And the 2021 Strictly Come Dancing contestant says he is seeking professional help as he prioritises his wellbeing outside of the sport and “addresses the imbalance in my life”.
In a message posted on social media, Peaty said: “Everyone wants to sit in your seat until they have to sit in your seat.
“Very few people understand what winning and success does to an individual’s mental health.
“They don’t understand the pressures these individuals put on themselves, to win over and over again.
“As some people may know, I’ve struggled with my mental health over the last few years and I think it’s important to be honest about it.
“I’m tired, I’m not myself and I’m not enjoying the sport as I have done for the last decade.
“Some might recognise it as burnout. I just know that over the last few years I haven’t had the answers.
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“With help, now I know how I can address the imbalance in my life.
“While I am continuing to train, I have decided to withdraw from the British Swimming Championships next month.
“This is with the sole purpose of delivering the best performance possible in Paris at the 2024 Olympic Games.
“I’m hugely grateful for all the support I am receiving from my team and family at British Swimming along with my incredible sponsors, family and friends.
“As always, I thank the swimming community and beyond for the incredible support I’ve forever received.
“This sport has given me everything I am and I’m looking forward to finding the love I have for it again.”
The 28-year-old, who announced last August that he had split from partner Eiri Munro, the mother of his two-year-old son George, retained his 100m breaststroke Olympic title in Tokyo in 2021.
He also remains the fastest man ever in his discipline.
But his eight-year invincible aura took a battering last year and he came away empty-handed from this event at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games after a season disrupted by a foot injury.
Though he will be absent from the trials, GB selectors could still hand him a place at the World Championship in Japan in July on a discretionary basis.
British Swimming Performance Director Chris Spice said: “We are all fully behind Adam and his decision to withdraw from the British Championships.
“The wellbeing of our athletes remains the single most important focus for us as an organisation, and our dedicated team of practitioners are always there for any athlete who require or ask for that support.
“Adam has given so much to British Swimming and the sport as a whole over the past decade through unmatched levels of dedication.
“We hope this time can be a valuable source of physical and mental replenishment for him.
“He is an incredible leader within our team and has set the bar so high with his unwavering commitment to excellence in all that he does.
“We are working closely with Adam and his team to support his recovery in every way possible.”
You’re Not Alone
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm
Source: The Sun
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