‘Try saying in India that you are not mentally prepared’: Wrestler Vinesh Phogat opens up on struggle with depression

Vinesh Phogat also explained what went wrong for her at the Tokyo Olympics.

Ritesh Pathak Author

Updated - 13 August 2021 3:44 pm

India's ace wrestler Vinesh Phogat has finally spoken up about her loss at the Tokyo Olympics. Vinesh was a top contender for an Olympic medal looking at her previous records. She, however, could not make it through and was knocked out after her loss in the quarterfinals. It was a bit surprising for everyone as she had been in good form. To add to her agony, she was accused of indiscipline by the Wrestling Federation of India on her return from Japan.

Of all the things being said about the wrestler, she finally decided to speak about them. She wrote a piece in The Indian Express and talked about everything from her loss to the accusations. She said that she is not sure when she will be back on the wrestling mat as she has still not recovered fully. "I don't know when I will return (to the mat). Maybe I won't. I feel I was better off with the broken leg. I had something to correct now. Now, my body is not broken but I am truly broken,” she wrote. She also mentioned that her injuries in the past had something to do with her shabby performance in the quarterfinals.

“I had a concussion in 2017, since then I have suffered from it. Things become blurry. It has gone down a lot but when my head strikes on anything, it comes back. Maybe it was that. Maybe it was the blood pressure. Maybe the weight cut…. The things that I ignored in the last three years, I realised could be the actual problem. I will get some tests done. But there is something,” Vinesh explained.

There's no question of me not being a team-player: Vinesh on indiscipline accusations

Speaking on her behaviour in the Games Village, Phogat explained why she chose not to stay with the rest of the contingent. "I was tested positive for COVID-19 second time, which I contracted in Almaty….. With these things having happened, why will I stay with the Indian team? They were tested every day for seven days. I was not. What if I got it on the flight and infected them? I was, in fact, thinking about them and wanted to stay away for 2-3 days to be sure that they were not at risk….So there is no question of me not being a team player,” she said.

The two-time Commonwealth Games champion also opened up on her mental health issues. She revealed she wasn't able to sleep and her situation got even worse over time. She went on to say that enough attention is not being paid to the 'mental health' issue in India.

"We celebrate Simone Biles as she said that I am not mentally prepared to perform at the Olympics and did not do her event. Try just saying that in India. Forget pulling out of wrestling, just try saying that you are not ready," she wrote in her column.

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