Chinese Olympic diving champion Shi Tingmao tells of depression struggle

China's Shi comfortably won the 3m springboard title for her second gold in Japan but cut a tearful figure in the immediate aftermath at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Published: 02nd August 2021 01:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2021 01:46 PM   |  A+A-

Shi Tingmao of China pose for a photo after winning gold medal in women's diving 3m springboard final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre at the 2020 Summer Olympics. (Photo | AP)


TOKYO: Four-time Olympic diving gold medallist Shi Tingmao has revealed her struggles with depression, joining US gymnastics superstar Simone Biles in openly discussing her mental health at the Tokyo Games.

China's Shi comfortably won the 3m springboard title for her second gold in Japan but cut a tearful figure in the immediate aftermath at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

The 29-year-old later said she had considered quitting diving after her form dipped last year.

"I have to really take care of my mental state and make sure I don't get into a depression," Shi told a post-competition press conference in unusually open comments for China's often-guarded athletes.

"I have worked with a psychiatrist or psychologist who helped me quite a bit with some of the mental stresses of being a competitive diver and dealing with depression and things like that."

Hinting that she reached such a low that she might have given up the sport, she added: "I really love diving and I realised that there was no way that I could give it up.

"So to get to this point today was not easy."

Shi, who also won two golds at Rio 2016, revealed the internal conflict she has had to deal with.

"There are two of me in my mental state that actually fight with one another," she said.

"Part of me says 'you're a gold medallist, you can take a break, you can be done'. Another part of me says 'you can't give this up, you love diving'."

Shi said she had not seen her family for 18 months because she had been so dedicated to her training and "we actually had very little contact".

"I'm sure my family have been worried for me but I also hope, through the screen, when we see each other, I can speak to my family and say that they have nothing to worry about, everything's fine."

Gymnast Biles came to the Tokyo Games as one of the standout stars but she has pulled out of a series of events and admitted she needed to take care of her mental wellbeing.

It comes weeks after another of the world's highest-profile athletes, Japanese star Naomi Osaka, took a break from tennis after revealing she had suffered depression.



Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

  • Jaren Feng

    She is just beautiful
    10 months ago reply
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp