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Australian Basketball star Liz Cambage pulls out of Tokyo Olympics due to panic attacks

Owing to panic attacks and bad mental health, Opals star Cambage withdraws her name from Tokyo Olympics

Liz Cambage Basketball Australia

Liz Cambage (Source: The Australian)


Kalptaru Agarwal

Published: 16 July 2021 4:39 PM GMT

The Opals star, Liz Cambage has withdrawn her name from the upcoming Tokyo Olympics citing health concerns due to the fear of entering a bubble where she will have no support other than the team. Mental health has been a cause of concern for every athlete participating in the Summer Games as there tends to be a psychological fear to enter a nation in a state of emergency from one of the deadliest viruses witnessed by humanity.

Cambage, the Australian Star announced on Friday that, "I am a long way from my mental and physical peak." This comes as a shocker because she was aiming to win the gold medal at the Olympics and the team was due to play the United States on Saturday before leaving for the games. She added to testify her hope to win the medal, "Anyone that knows me knows one of my biggest dreams is winning an Olympic gold medal with the Opals."

The reason quoted by Liz to back out from the event was because she had been facing panic attacks for the past months. Her sleeping and eating routines have been compromised and she has been really afraid to be alone heading into this Olympics. She mentioned her problematic behavior stating

"It's no secret that in the past I've struggled with my mental health and recently I've really worried about heading into a 'bubble' Olympics. No family. No friends. No fans. No support system outside of my team. It's honestly terrifying for me."

Sometimes, mental health is forgotten with respect to the hard work and the struggle which the athletes go through. It was a hard call for the four-time WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage to prioritize her mental and physical health over the games as she believes that she won't be able to do justice to her team.

She has given her best wishes to the team as she said, "I wish them nothing but the best of luck in Tokyo and I hope they go forth and win a gold medal. Love and light."

Liz Cambage with Lauren Jackson (Source: yahoo.com)

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) is now exploring the possibility of calling up a late replacement and their chef de mission, Ian Chesterman stated that he understands and respects Cambage's decision. Though she was thought to be a key differentiator for Australia and had the capacity to turn results with her performance, her presence will be missed by the team.

She now has plans to cure her mental health and doesn't want to land up at a place where she needs to 'rely on daily medications to control her anxiety.' She quoted "I need to take care of myself mentally and physically."

Cambage was a part of the 2012-squad that won the bronze in London and Rio Olympics 2016 finishing 5th and 2020 Tokyo Olympics would have been her third appearance at Olympics.

In an attempt to succeed, we must also focus on the wholesome ideas of human life such as mental health issues. Naomi Osaka had previously cited her own bouts of fighting depression and such steps are necessary for your individual self and your team. Liz Cambage has taken the right step because her panic attacks had been consistent and she couldn't afford to deepen the traumatic experience. She will now be praying the best for her team and working on her mental and physical state.

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