Ex-Oz swimmer Leisel Jones says 'psychotic pursuit' of Olympic gold came at cost of mental health

Melbourne, Sept 22 (ANI): Former Australian Olympic gold-medallist swimmer Leisel Jones has revealed that a 'psychotic pursuit' of her gold medal came at the cost of her mental health.

Jones is one name in a list of Australia's finest sportspersons suffering mentally in the pursuit of success like Ian Thorpe, Petria Thomas, Libby Trickett, Greg Huegill, Ben Tune and many others.

According to Telegraph.com.au, Jones admitted that her entire self-worth was invested in winning in the lead up to the Beijing Games in 2008, adding that she felt that she could not live if she could not be known as an Olympic gold medallist.

Urging today's young athletes to care for their mental health, Jones also said that she was a 'complete mess' as she had fallen into depression, struggled to train and had suicidal thoughts by late 2010 which cost her relationships, family and social time, adding that she was barely surviving at that time.

The report mentioned that following her experience, Jones is now studying to become a psychologist in the hope of preventing athletes from enduring the same harrowing times she endured.

According to a sports psychologist, performance is now valued over mental health, with Olympic great Ian Thorpe, who struggled with depression during his career and still does, believing that more must be done to protect athletes.

Jones also said that in her pursuit of Olympic gold she embarked on a 'crazy' diet of cereal for breakfast, an apple for lunch and then soup for dinner coupled with six hours of training. (ANI)

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