Cath Bishop

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‘Barty had a purpose, perhaps clearest when creating history at the Australian Open and immediately taking the trophy to share with youngsters on the clay courts of Uluru.’ Photograph: Joel Carrett/EPA

Shock news! The No 1 tennis player in the world has announced that there is more to her life than the number of times she wins a tennis championship. The collective state of astonishment at Ash Barty’s retirement at the age of 25 says as much about how we see athletes as it does about this extraordinary woman. How have we reached a point where it is surprising for a top athlete to have a healthy mindset? Where it stuns us that someone who has won at the highest level isn’t desperate to do it again as many times as possible?…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Simone Biles’s greatest contribution could be pushing leaders across the sporting world to give Olympians space to find a purpose beyond a single moment on the podium.’ Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

Simone Biles has given us many groundbreaking performances. This week she has pushed the boundaries of sport once more. Not by expanding her already extraordinary technical expertise as a gymnast but by challenging the persistent, macho narrative around what Olympic success and sporting strength should look like.

Biles follows tennis players Naomi Osaka at the French Open and Emma Raducanu at Wimbledon, who are unafraid to speak up in the global spotlight and place mental heath on the same level as physical health. Sadly, all have had their integrity, sporting prowess and character questioned. Michael Phelps revealed the extraordinary pressures and mental health struggles that he faced in a recent documentary called The Weight of Gold: the title says it all.…  Seguir leyendo »