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Ian Thorpe 'embarrassed about' depression

Tuesday, November 13 2012 by SNTV
  • Intro:

    Five time Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe looks ahead to his participation in the Doha Goals Forum and talks about his battle with depression.


    SOUNDBITE (English) Ian Thorpe:
    "It was enormous, leading into an Olympic Games as being a 17 year old kid that then the world would focus on because it was a home Olympic Games. Mind you, I had come in to it as being the the favourite, I'd set myself up for this. It wasn't as if this was forced upon me. But in not realising what the Olympics are. This is my first time in the Olympics and having a level of naivety going into the Games, not knowing if I'd be able to handle it. We often, we talk in circles and promote Olympics ideas, ideals and values. We talk about the importance of the Olympics and what it can do and how it's different to every other event, but we don't really prepare our athletes for that and I think it's important that we do. You know, athletes with a little bit more experience to be able to share what it has been like and although it won't prepare you entirely, it will give you a little bit of an insight into what a Games is like and that we can have those conversations that may not be like a direct conversation that we have with the media or with the public."

    SOUNDBITE (English) Ian Thorpe:
    "Most of the book was cathartic to write. Writing about depression wasn't. It was hard. It was difficult and I didn't realise that I was going to allow it to be in the book. I thought I might just do this for myself and you realise in doing it, it was the first time in my life that I felt comfortable talking about this. It wasn't as though I thought it made me less of an athlete, it was nothing like that. It was more of a personal thing that I felt a little bit embarrassed about it, from telling close friends and family. But you know I also realised that there's a lot of people, in sport especially, but people in the broader community also that are struggling with this and some youngsters that I would like to encourage that things are going to get better and also that you can still achieve things, you know incredible heights, no matter what field it's in."

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