Looser talks mental health

14 June 2021 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMI

Namibian elite cyclist Vera Looser took to social media to announce that she has been taking time out to focus on her mental health.

Looser joins the likes of Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who recently spoke out about mental health and before the French Open, announced that she would not participate in any after-match news conferences because she wanted to safeguard her mental well-being.

Osaka said the reporters’ questions sometimes put doubts in her mind. Despite the different circumstances of the two athletes, the issue of mental health is at the forefront and athletes caring for themselves is of utmost importance.

You above anything else

“I have been very quiet on social media the past weeks. It was a hard time for me dealing with the pressure I put on myself for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“My riding has improved a lot in the past year and a half, but it is not even merely enough to compete against the world’s best female cyclists on the road.

“Yes, I’m not a climber and the course in Tokyo is a climber’s course. But I still want to do my absolute best.

“Sometimes I think it’s not fair that I can go to the Olympics and so many other incredible riders don't get the chance, because they come from a strong nation and I have the African advantage. But I don't make the rules and I guess I should enjoy the privilege and make the best out of it,” she wrote.

She added that sport is brutal.

“I think it is harder in the mental aspect than in the physical aspect. The burn in the legs is gone after a while, but the head never stops,” said Looser.

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