A taboo subject for athletes until a few years ago, more and more of them took the floor to talk about "mental health". And this week, it is the five-time world champion Camille Lacourt who confided in the journalists of Le Parisien on his "burn-out" after the London Olympics in 2012. In question: a fourth place, just after his first world championship title.
"I went to the bottom of the hole. I felt like no matter what was around me, a broken vase had to be filled. I had no motivation for anything anymore,” he admits. "When it's so violent, when you question everything, it's horrible. »
At first, Camille Lacourt blames the blow and thinks it was "just a big disappointment", but, looking back, the swimmer now admits that he actually suffered from a "burn -out". “At the time, we didn't talk about these topics. It was a long time later that I understood", recognizes the Narbonnais, who explains that he did not speak to anyone about his suffering during "those difficult times". "When you're still in the hard, it can show weakness," he laments.
However, Camille Lacourt does not specifically blame his career as a top athlete, but more on the level of "stress" he was facing. His distress still made him want to stop competing. "But I always had a little phrase in mind: 'Failure is not failing, but quitting.' “, he confides to the journalists of Parisian.
Today, the five-time world champion, who left the pools in 2017, is delighted with the awareness that has taken place in the sports world, and in particular with the speaking out of Michael Phelps. Only, he regrets that mental suffering is "still [a subject] still too stigmatized" in society. This is also why he now speaks out on the subject, to tell everyone who listens to him that "it's not a shame to go through this", that we must speak up and not reluctant to ask for help.