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“We only do one sport”: US Olympic athletes on psychological challenges

Posted: 07/31/2021 / 9:18 PM EDTUpdated: 7/31/2021 / 9:35 PM EDT

TOKYO (dpa) – Lives are more important than medals, said US triathlon athlete Morgan Pearson after his team won silver in Tokyo on Saturday.

The mixed triathlon event – swimming, cycling and running – has just made its Olympics debut and the US team was just seconds behind the UK. France finished with bronze.

But with a focus on the mental health of athletes, the American team reflected on how to deal with the pressures of competition at elite sports level and emphasized the importance of addressing mental health problems.

‘OK, not to be OK’: Mental health is a top part of the Olympics

“It’s important to remember that at the end of the day we only play one sport, we play one sport and our life is more valuable than just the medals,” Pearson said at the press conference after the award ceremony.

Katie Zafares said she started speaking to a psychologist after attending the Rio Olympics and it’s now part of her routine.

Kevin McDowell said the pandemic brought him closer to his parents and family. ”

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