Bell Let’s Speak: Olympians share why psychological wellness issues to them – Team Canada

Bell Let’s Speak: Olympians share why psychological wellness issues to them – Team Canada

Image credit history: COC

More and more, sporting communities, cultures, and industries are recognizing the value of supporting and protecting athlete mental health–from youth activity all the way by means of to the Olympic level. 

In honour of Bell Let’s Talk Working day, we spoke to four Canadian Olympians about why psychological health and fitness issues to them.  

Tammara Thibeault pumps her fist in celebration
Tammara Thibeault of Canada celebrates soon after profitable the gold medal in the Women’s 75kg Boxing Finals in the course of the Santiago 2023 Pan American Game titles on Friday, Oct 27, 2023. Photograph by Leah Hennel/COC

Tammara Thibeault is a Tokyo 2020 Olympian, 2022 Globe Winner and Commonwealth Game titles Winner, and most recently won gold at the 2023 Pan American Game titles.  

On her journey to chasing Olympic gold at Paris 2024, Thibeault claims that environment boundaries and prioritizing her very own mental properly-becoming have been essential. 

“I feel you are heading to get the finest out of any athlete–any person–if they feel fantastic and they feel safe,” Thibeault stated. “I’m at my greatest when I come to feel safe–and feeling protected isn’t just an environmental issue, it is an inside factor. 

“As athletes, we usually want to do additional, to push much more, to get everything done. And you know what? Often the best point you can do is get a step again. You appear again with a different perspective, you appear again experience refreshed, and you arrive back more powerful. Indicating ‘no’ isn’t simple. It’s seriously tricky. But we’ve acquired to normalize placing boundaries.” 

Sarah Douglas trains in Toronto, on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, forward of the Tokyo Olympics, in which she will characterize Canada in sailing.THE CANADIAN Push/Chris Younger

Olympic sailor Sarah Douglas is no stranger to the depth that will come alongside with substantial functionality sport. The 29-calendar year-outdated concluded sixth in the women’s single-handed dinghy at Tokyo 2020 – the finest ever Olympic outcome by a Canadian lady in an unique sailing party. Psychological adaptability is particularly essential in her activity, exactly where so several aspects like wind, temperature, and waves slide outdoors of an athlete’s control.  

“Mental health is as crucial, if not more significant than bodily overall health and teaching,” Douglas suggests. “For me individually, I have discovered that through burnout and the trouble of handling the highs and lows of the competitive period. All those predicaments are kinds the place psychological health and fitness actually arrives into engage in and it is important to make sure you are supported.” 

For paddlers Katie Vincent and Pierre-Luc Poulin, the knowledge of competing at the Olympic Games strengthened the significance of having psychological overall health infrastructure offered to athletes. 

Olympic paddler Pierre-Luc Poulin stares off camera while wearing a red Team Canada shirt
Pierre-Luc Poulin is photographed at Paris 2024 Media Working day. Photograph: COC

“After Tokyo, I felt vacant. I felt vacant of fuel, empty of travel,” claimed Poulin, who built his Olympic debut as a member of the men’s K-4 crew. “I needed area to feel about that and to be in a position to replicate and increase into that feeling, 1st of emptiness and then of adore and passion I have for the activity. But that matters–you need to have to have the room.” 

Vincent, who came property with a bronze medal from Tokyo 2020, echoes her teammate’s sentiments. 

“About a calendar year ago, I had to make that preference for the second time in my vocation to find some enable. I struggled with the adjustments following Tokyo and that was catching up with me. It was a hard period of time in my brain,” Vincent says. “I realized I was battling and my pals could see it as perfectly. But I had the assets offered to me to access out and get assistance. And it was the greatest final decision I’ve built. 

“I really feel like getting those resources authorized me to course of action those feelings and to go forward with a clearer intellect,” Vincent points out. “My targets for Paris are to complete the Games experience like I’m in a good space the place I did the ideal I could, no matter of the end result. I just want to truly feel like I did my finest and showed up the way I wished to demonstrate up.” 

Katie Vincent competing in the C1 200m sprint
Canadian Katie Vincent competes in the Women’s Canoe Single 200m heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Wednesday, August 04, 2021. Image by Darren Calabrese/COC

For Thibeault, Douglas, Poulin, and Vincent, the path to Paris 2024 consists of not only extreme bodily schooling, but also prioritizing rest, test-ins with themselves and their communities, and accessing mental health and fitness sources so that they can show up to the Olympic Games feeling their best–both physically and mentally. 

These Olympians’ ordeals remind us that psychological health and fitness impacts anyone and that we all play for Group Canada when it comes to supporting a single a further.  

To master a lot more about how you can get meaningful motion to assist your mental health and that of many others, verify out these assets.