Sometimes professional athletes can seem almost larger than life. They’re big, strong, fast, and talented; they’re as close as it comes to developing a seemingly indestructible person.
But athletes are humans too, and mental illness doesn’t take fame or fortune into account. Mental illness is something that can affect anybody, and it does so in a number of ways.
UNINTERRUPTED is looking to help end the stigma around mental health, and one way to do that is to get people talking. As a part of Bell, Let’s Talk Day, UNINTERRUPTED profiled three Canadian Olympians – athletes you may not expect to struggle in ways that they have.
First, there’s Andre De Grasse. The Scarborough native became a household name when he ran alongside Usain Bolt and the other fastest men in the world, winning a bronze medal in the 100m and 4x100m relay, as well as a silver in the 200m.
What many people don’t know is the struggle De Grasse went through following a hamstring injury that hampered him.
Next is Alysha Newman, a pole vaulter and National record holder from London, Ontario. She encountered domestic abuse – something she never thought she would have to deal with – but as she explains she was “in love and blind”.
Newman opens up about how she dealt with the struggle to get back on track.
The final profile features Lanni Marchant, a marathon runner who dealt with a personal loss that became too much. She opens up about her struggles, and how talking to people helped her to heal.
These stories emerge on Bell, Let’s Talk Day, but it’s important to remember that these battles are fought year round. If you’re going through a battle of your own, open up about it. Tell somebody who cares.