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Olympic champ Justyna Kowalczyk suffering from depression

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 05.06.2014 09:52
Olympic cross-country ski gold medallist Justyna Kowalczyk says she wants to “break a sporting taboo” and talk about suffering from a depression where “everything is black”.

Justyna Kowalczyk , photo: Wikipedia / Frankie Fouganthin

Life should be rosy for the 31 year-old athlete after winning gold during the 10 km classic cross country event at the Sochi Winter Olympics but she has revealed in a deeply personal interview with sports.pl that she is suffering from depression.

“For over a year I have been diagnosed with depression,” says the double Olympic and World champion.

“I try to keep up pretences but I am tired of being 'Poland's top sporting star'. There are some days when the only view I have is the ceiling of my room, when I do not have the strength to get up out of bed,” she says after admitting to many sleepless nights.

“Depression in sport is still a taboo subject, but it is a problem of society and athletes are as equally susceptible to it as anyone else,” she says after admitting to a “classic mental breakdown”.

“This is one of the reasons why I have decided to tell my story. Athletes are seen as not having the right to have weaknesses.”

Justyna Kowalczyk is not about to give up sport, she says however, and vows to return to training to be ready for competition next season. (pg)

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