In response to the next Summer Olympic Games being postponed to July 2021, the most decorated Olympian of all-time, American Michael Phelps, offered up his take on how he thinks he would have responded had one of his three previous Olympic Games appearances been delayed. You can read our original report here.
Since then, Phelps has continued to make the media rounds, including on NBC’s TODAY to elaborate more on the impact of the Tokyo Olympics postponement potentially has on athletes.
Phelps told host Hoda Kotb, “You go through something for four years and we kind of know exactly when it’s going to come and our bodies are ready for it, then we have to wait…It’s difficult. I’ve tried to replay what I would be going through emotionally at this very time if I was still competing. It’s hard to really kind of comprehend it.”
Phelps offered advice to athletes who were planning to compete in Tokyo, saying, “I think the biggest thing now is everybody should look at this as an opportunity, another year to work on fine-tuning small things that are going to help you make a big difference…But really, I want everybody to make sure they are taking care of their mental health. It’s something that’s even more important now.”
On his own mental health journey, Phelps said, “If you are in a spot where you need help, reach out and ask for help…It’s something that changed my life. To be honest, it saved my life. So I am still myself reaching out for help. I still have a therapist that I talk to — they help me just be me.”
You can view the entire interview here, courtesy of NBC News/TODAY.
Additionally, this week, the GOAT donated 500 months of free Talkspace therapy to help nurses, doctors, social workers, first responders, and more access mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Yahoo! Finance)
Phelps, a Talkspace partner, states “I’m proud to be a part of something that is helping the superheroes of today, our medical workforce, take care of themselves as they are giving everything to take care of others right now.
“While so many things feel uncertain and out of our control, it is important that we take care of our mental health. Therapy is an ongoing process for me and Talkspace is an important part of my mental health routine, and my hope is the platform can do the same for the thousands of medical professionals facing unimaginable realities right now.”
Per Talkpace, Phelps’ contribution graciously adds 500 additional months of therapy for those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic to access mental health care at a time where they are experiencing heightened stress and anxiety.