SPEED SKATER IREEN WÜST WAS DEPRESSED AFTER WINTER OLYMPICS
Out Dutch speed skater Ireen Wüst has won silver in the European Speed Skating Championship Allround, just like last year. She also talked about what it was like for her after winning gold at the Winter Olympics last year:
You’ve worked for four years on this cycle. On this one race. It takes power and energy. You feel pressured. By the outside world and by yourself. The closer the Olympics are, the more tension you feel. When I succeeded [at the Olympics], at first I just felt disbelief and relief. But afterwards came the big blow. All the pressure and emotions, all those obligations – it all came out.
I felt sick, both mentally and physically. It was like having a mild depression. A burnout. Everything was just too much. I didn’t feel like doing anything. Figuratively speaking it was even too much effort to lift a glass of water. That lasted for about two, three weeks. I was so tired. I only slept. Boy, was I cranky! I had to drag myself to events and stuff. I was so tired, so I didn’t feel like being very sociable.
Wüst contemplated whether or not to take a year off last summer, “But the idea of sitting on the sidelines all winter didn’t appeal to me. So I took a very long vacation instead. My approach to the current skating season is a relaxed one. If I fail to perform during a training, then it’s just too bad.”