Australian basketball star Liz Campagne withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics, citing concerns for her mental health if she falls into a bubble at the Games without any outside support for her team.
Cambage, the best female opal player, said Friday that she is “still a long way from her mental and physical peak,” with only a week left before the games start.
“Anyone who knows me knows that one of my biggest dreams is to win Olympic gold with opals,” he said. Every athlete who competes in the Olympics must be at her peak mentally and physically, and right now, I am a long way from where I want and need to be.
“It is no secret that I have struggled in the past with my mental health, and lately, I have been very concerned about heading to the ‘bubble’ Olympics. Without family. With no friends. No fans. No support system outside of my team. It is terrifying for me. In the past, I had panic attacks. I did not sleep or eat.
“Relying on daily medications to control my anxiety is not where I want to be right now. Participate particularly in competitions on the largest sports scene in the world”.
Cambage, a four-time WNBA star who plays for the Las Vegas Aces, said she doesn’t feel like she can do her best on her own and that she needs to take care of her physical and mental health first.
“It breaks my heart to announce that I will withdraw from the Olympics, but I think it is better for Opal and me,” he said. “I wish you nothing but good luck in Tokyo, and I hope you go ahead and win a gold medal. Love and light”.
Australian chef Ian Chesterman said he understood Campig’s decision.
“Liz has made a great contribution to the Australian Olympic team during two Olympic Games campaigns,” he said. “We respect his decision and wish him the best to regain his health.”
AOC will explore the possibility of a late replacement recall for Cambage.
“Our focus now is on working with opals so that they can achieve the goals that they have set for themselves in Tokyo,” said Chesterman. “We know that they are fully committed to achieving success in Tokyo and will continue to bring a solid team to this campaign.”
The 29-year-old Campag has long been a vital member of the Opals team, and her involvement is seen as vital as the Australians look to get back to their medal-winning form in Tokyo. He crashed out of the 2016 Olympics in the quarterfinals after winning medals in each of the previous five games.
She threatened to boycott the Games earlier this year in protest on racial grounds.