Australian Olympic Committee to provide more mental health support ahead of Rio 2016

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The Australian Olympic Committee is set to send more psychologists to the Rio Olympics to meet athletes’ increasing demand for mental support.

It comes after sporting stars, including champion swimmers Leisel Jones and Ian Thorpe, spoke out about the mental anguish they endured in pursuit of winning a gold medal.

Aware of the growing issue, the AOC and its Athletes’ Commission have shifted their focus to “culture and leadership” and the psychological welfare of athletes in the build-up to the 2016 Games.

Ruth Anderson was head psychologist for Australia’s Olympic team in Beijing and London, and last year experienced a huge demand for her services. Anderson said yesterday the nation’s sporting bodies must provide more mental health support to their athletes because if they did not, it would “limit” the Olympians’ performance at Rio.

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