Warning: This article includes references to drug addiction, suicide and mental health issues.
“Winning Olympic gold is the most extreme natural high you can ever experience,” says Matthew Mitcham, who then pauses, laughs and adds: “That’s why I became a drug addict!”
This light-hearted reaction may seem at odds with such a serious subject matter, but Australian former diver Mitcham is now a happily married man, fully at peace with his troubled past at the age of 32.
In January he celebrated being five years clean from the “crippling” daily drug and alcohol consumption he says drove him to consider taking his own life on more than one occasion.
He is also aware that, while the post-Games comedown – often referred to as ‘Olympic blues’ – was a key factor in his struggles, his problems really began long before.
His process of recovery has been helped most of all by reflection, looking back on the troubled…
— to www.bbc.co.uk