“I was in a dark place, I was super depressed”: Olympic Champion Chad Le Clos talks about Tokyo Olympic Trauma and journey

Chad Le Clos recently opened up about his mental health struggles at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, and his recovery from then.

Chad le Clos
Chad le Clos

Olympic champion Chad Le Clos underwent severe trauma pre Tokyo Olympics, which clouded his entire journey towards the games. Recently, Le Clos revealed his details about his mental health, and his road to recovery.

Le Clos did not talk about the events and the circumstances, but revealed the struggles that he faced due to it. “It’s something I’ll never talk about because it’s not for anybody else to know. But it was something so deep, it was worse than my parents having cancer and this was worse for them,” he said according to swimmingworldmagazine.com.

Le Clos said that the events of 2020 eventually began to weigh him down in 2021, including a shift in sponsorship dollars and the shifting currents of attention in South African swimming. His performance at the Olympics took a huge hit too, after failing to perform in the 100m and 200m fly- his best events.

Chad Le Clos talks about getting professional help after Tokyo Olympics Trauma

Chad Le Clos
Chad Le Clos

It was only after the disaster of the Tokyo Olympics that Le Clos decided he needed professional help- a decision that he wished he would not have delayed so much. “I only started to speak to someone after the Olympics – biggest mistake of my life – and I started getting myself right again. I was in a dark place, even after the Olympics,” he said. “I was super depressed.”

Chad Le Clos said there were times he spent in his room crying, and he did not know why. However, he is now on his journey to recovery, and is on his way back. He has been making progress in his therapy, and has had an extremely impressive showing at the South African Swimming Championships. His next goal is to become the most decorated athlete in Commonwealth Games history, needing two medals for that. He’s also eyeing the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“I know I’m winning medals in two years’ time, I can promise you that,” le Clos said. “So I’m not worried about the future.”

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