Appearing on ‘Today,’ Michael Phelps urged Olympians to ‘take care of their mental health’


Michael Phelps can not think about what his fellow Olympians are going by.

When it was introduced that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics can be postponed and rescheduled for subsequent yr as a result of COVID-19 epidemic, the retired Olympian considered what it might have been like for him, emotionally, to listen to the information. As somebody who struggles with anxiousness and despair,  he can not even “comprehend” the emotional toll of ready one other yr.

“For the athletes, it’s tough,” he advised Today through Facetime on Monday. “You go through something for four years and we know exactly when it’s going to come and our bodies are ready for it and then, we have to wait…It’s our whole life, and it’s difficult. I’ve tried to replay what I would be going through emotionally at this very time if I was still competing and, it’s hard to really comprehend it.”

Many American athletes have vocalized how heartbroken and disenchanted they’re on the information. Gymnast Simone Biles was coaching the second she discovered and “cried.” Swimmer Ryan Lochte expressed how he was “a little pissed off” as a result of he was “training his butt off.” Still, they in addition to others, like basketball participant Nneka Ogwumike, perceive the severity of what’s happening proper now and the choice to postpone the video games.

“This whole thing is way bigger than me. It’s way bigger than the Olympians,” Lochte stated. “It’s affecting the entire world right now.”

How did @Simone_Biles obtain information that the 2020 Olympics have been postponed?

“I was in the gym training…I didn’t really know what to feel. I just kind of sat there and I cried. But ultimately it was the right decision,” she says.

— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 1, 2020

Phelps encourages all athletes to stay constructive, and to make use of this time to concentrate on their psychological well being as a lot as bodily. He’s even frightened about a rise in suicide charges amongst athletes as a result of information.

“It is challenging, but I think the biggest thing now is for everybody to look at this as an opportunity for another year to work on fine-tuning some small things that are going to help you make a big difference.

“For all the athletes, try to take this as a positive,” he added. “Really, really, really I want everybody to make sure they’re taking care of their mental health. It’s something that’s even more important now.”

If anybody wants assist, Phelps stated his telephone is open.

“I’ll be the first one to admit I’m somebody who still struggles with depression and anxiety, and I’ve had a day or two over the last three weeks where it has been difficult, and I’m sure there are people out there who are going through the same exact thing…If you are in a spot where you need help, reach out and ask for help. It’s something that was very difficult for me to do and I can understand if somebody is going through that and also, at the same time, it’s something that changed my life. To be honest, it saved my life.”