Naomi Osaka Lights Olympic Cauldron As Final Torch Bearer In Opening Ceremony
Naomi Osaka has lit the Olympic Cauldron, stepping forward as the final torch bearer at this year’s Olympic Opening Ceremony.
The 23-year-old four-time tennis grand slam winner is set to embark on her first sporting competition since dropping out of the French Open back in May.
Osaka dropped out of the contest on account of mental health difficulties, explaining at the time that she’s often felt ‘people have no regard’ for the mental health of professional athletes.
Osaka opted not to participate in Wimbledon or the French Open after she was given a $15,000 fine and threatened with suspension after refusing to appear at a press conference.
Opening up about her decision in an essay for Time magazine, Osaka wrote:
There can be moments for any of us where we are dealing with issues behind the scenes. Each of us as humans is going through something on some level.
I have numerous suggestions to offer the tennis hierarchy, but my No. 1 suggestion would be to allow a small number of ‘sick days’ per year where you are excused from your press commitments without having to disclose your personal reasons. I believe this would bring sport in line with the rest of society.
Osaka has reportedly suffered with depression since 2018 and finds press conferences exacerbate her anxiety.
If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.
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