Jason Kenny speaks of post-Olympic depression
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Jason Kenny speaks of post-Olympic depression

by Ben Atkins at 9:20 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track, Olympics
 
Double London gold medalist wants to win more often to break four-year cycle

jason kennyOlympic Sprint champion Jason Kenny has spoken of suffering from depression following his double gold medal triumph in London this summer. The 24-year-old took victory in the Sprint and Team Sprint - to add to his Team Sprint gold and Sprint silver from Beijing four years before - but found himself having problems returning to training after the dust of the post-Games parties had settled.

"Initially it was difficult," he said, according to the Independent, as he prepares for this weekend’s track World Cup in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow. "To start with I had no morale, no motivation. I couldn't face it basically – I went to a track session one day and just did two laps and went home. There was a bit of depression there, post-race blues.”

Kenny’s experience rings as similar to that of Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, and fellow sprinter Victoria Pendleton, who found themselves feeling flat after having achieved their goals in Beijing 2008. Wiggins in particular has spoken of spending the following eight months on an alcohol binge as he struggled to come to terms with having fulfilled his sporting dreams.

"It was like a party for a month, going to lots of random stuff, and then after that it was time to get back to work,” said Kenny of the immediate aftermath to the London Games. “I didn't mind it to start with, the casual training, but when it came to going to track sessions and being on time and things like that, it was really difficult.

"Everything just seemed to be going wrong for one month of my life,” he explained. “I just felt generally depressed – I had a month of running around, doing what I wanted, having a laugh. Then I was locked away in my flat, bored."

With British Cycling’s training schedules all geared towards the four-year Olympic cycle, with less emphasis placed on championships in the years between. With London out of the way, Kenny - who was one of just five members of Team GB to take two golds, including his mentor Sir Chris Hoy, and his girlfriend Laura Trott - found himself alone.

"Our team was focused on winning races [in London]," Kenny said.

"Everyone does their job and then you are on your own. It is the way it should be – it's all right anyway. I'll live! I rely on momentum in my training so once I gathered a bit of time I started to enjoy it a lot more and the team started to come back to track sessions which definitely helped the atmosphere."

Having returned to the track however, Kenny is now trying to look beyond the Olympic cycle, and to attempt to win more titles to add to his four Olympic medals.

"Being part of this team you just get the Olympics rammed down your throat - it's all about the Olympics, all about the Olympics - but as an individual it really is not," he said, according to the BBC.

“Halfway through the last [Olympic] cycle it was so bad,” he continued. “It was so rubbish and everything was going wrong but I turned it around and had a good run into London and won two gold medals.

"I want to keep that feeling going and try to get on the top step at the worlds more often."

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