Stanford sophomore and USA National Team-er Jack LeVant penned a personal Instagram post Wednesday, opening up about his recent struggles with mental health that led to his absence from the 2019 NCAA Championships in March and this week’s World University Games.
“I’ve been struggling with mental health issues both in and out of the pool. I suffer from depression and anxiety,” LeVant wrote. “There were times when I thought I would never swim again.” He announced he was pulling out of NCAAs with “unforeseen medical complications” March 23, and neither LeVant, nor the school, nor USA Swimming offered further comment on the matter in the interim.
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Most of you all have probably been wondering where I’ve been the last few months. Why didn’t I swim at NCAAs? Why did I pull out of WUGs? The truth is, I’ve been struggling with mental health issues both in and out of the pool. I suffer from depression and anxiety. There were times when I thought I would never swim again. However, thanks to the love and support of my family, friends, coaches, and teammates, I have been able to return to the sport that I love, and I will be joining Team USA in Gwangju for the World Championships. Also, a special shoutout to @evamerrell and @simonlamar for being brave enough to share their own stories. #EndTheStigma
LeVant confirmed that he will join Team USA in South Korea for the 2019 FINA World Championships at the end of the month. He was a 1:46.39 in the 200 free at US Nationals last summer, which was, and remains, his best time. He’s raced a pair of 200 meter frees so far in 2019, with times of 1:54.33 and 1:50.60 on June 9th and June 22nd, respectively.
The Texas native LeVant included in his post a reference to Eva Merrell, who in March shared with SwimSwam her own battle with physical and mental health that kept her out of the pool for her freshman year at the University of Georgia, and ultimately led to her going home to San Diego (she has since announced she is back training in Georgia). LeVant also cited Harvard’s Simon Lamar, who also posted on Instagram in response to Merrell sharing her story, opening up about his own experiences with depression and anxiety.