Jack LeVant Opens Up About Mental Health, NCAA/WUGs Absences

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.

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.

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2 years ago

I’m so happy we’re starting to be able to have these conversations. I’m glad he took time off to better himself, and I wish him the best this summer!

Joel Lin
2 years ago

My goodness all I can think is how brutal this has been for him to weather. I’m rooting for him in & out of the pool.

The Man Himself
2 years ago

Jeez, looks like he lost a significant amount of weight. Rooting for him this summer and many years to come.

2 years ago

Many athletes are silently fighting this battle… Thank you for your honesty and courage to come forward about it. Best of luck this summer !

2 years ago

The USA coaches are going to evaluate his fitness to compete in the relay. At the last WCs, the USA qualified 7th for the final. It’s not the strongest event, and they may have to leave him off if another swimmer is faster.

Of course it’s great that he’s feeling better and is resuming his swimming career. He’s got a lot of natural talent for the sport.

Tree hugger
Reply to  Marklewis
2 years ago

I thought with the new rules a nation is required to use all of its relay only swimmers and cannot leave out a swimmer that was brought to the meet. ??

Reply to  Marklewis
2 years ago

I understand your point, but this post is not the time or place. Have a little courtesy man

2 years ago

Godspeed young man!

2 years ago

A truly stong young man who has been a terrific role model. An example for so many that came before him and all those to follow.

13 % Chinese person
2 years ago

Simone Biles has the following ….adhd , anxiety , post sexual abuse problems requiring highly frequent psychologist sessions , continual physical pain & social media fatigue .& withdrawal . Still she wil likely win multiple gold medals at worlds & olympics .

A majority of ppl wpuld say ‘ Why continue ? How many medals do you need to keep you from the abyss ?

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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