MENTAL HEALTH

Sports psychologist explains an Olympic athlete’s feelings of grief

May 23, 2024, 1:06 PM | Updated: Jun 6, 2024, 3:30 pm

Therapist talks about mental health for athletes in the olympics...

The Olympic rings and cauldron from the 2002 Winter Games are pictured at Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Less than 75 days until the Summer Olympics begin in Paris and one of the most important aspects of training revolves around the athlete’s mental health.

Anxiety and stress may be felt before the Olympic Games, but sports psychologist, Dr. Natasha Trujillo says an athlete’s feelings of grief are common when the games end.

“A lot of people only assume that you can grieve if there is some sort of death loss and that is simply not the case and for an Olympic athlete the end of the Olympics,” said Trujillo.

Facing feelings of grief

“At the end of the Olympics, there’s really only one winner. There’s one person… or one team that gets that top spot. So, when you think about grief, everyone else that participates suffers a loss,” Trujillo said.

She explained that athletes work for years to get to that level and when they miss their goal, they suffer a big loss.

According to Trujillo, the best way for athletes to heal from grief is to be patient and talk openly about what they are feeling.

“The only way to handle grief is to be with it, and go through it and sit with it, which is really really hard for athletes because they’re productive.”

It’s important, said Trujillo, to remember that these athletes are human.

“Olympic athletes are people too and the rest of their lives don’t stop because the Olympics is happening. So, each athlete is a little bit different but they all have a baseline mental health to begin with. So they’re not going to be immune to things that the rest of us aren’t going to be immune to as well.”

Related reading: 


Read more stories about mental health from KSL NewsRadio.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Mental Health

Katy Welkie, vice president of Intermountain and CEO of Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital, ...

Eric Cabrera, Amie Schaeffer

Intermountain Health to open behavioral health center in Taylorsville

Intermountain Health is expanding its behavioral health services. A new center for children and teens will open in Taylorsville in 2025.

1 day ago

(Canva)...

Heather Peterson

Program connects those who struggle with mental health to employers

SALT LAKE CITY — A sector of Utah’s Department of Health and Human Services is connecting those who struggle with mental illnesses with employers, to aid in their recovery. With Individual Placement and Support (IPS) offices across the state, they help those who have suffered from mental health crises or a co-occurring substance use disorder, […]

7 days ago

Getting along with the in-laws can be a tricky - but essential - part of the marriage journey. Utah...

Emma Everett Johnson, KSL.com

Struggling with in-laws? USU experts have some advice

Struggling with in-laws? You're not alone. The University of Utah has conducted a research study to help people out who have in-law troubles.

16 days ago

(Canva)...

Michelle Lee

The impact of spring colors on mental health

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Dr. Sally Augustin to learn how we can use spring colors to improve our mental health.

24 days ago

Salt Lake Deputy Police Chief Josh Scharman conducts the grand opening of the Community Connections...

Eric Cabrera

Social workers with Salt Lake Police Department are responding to more callers than ever

The Community Connection Center social workers who work with the Salt Lake Police Department are getting an increase in mental health-related calls, as a result they have grown their team to able to respond to more.

27 days ago

the us house of representatives shown at the capitol, the house passed a bill about sodium nitrite...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

House passes bill to ban a compound used in suicides

Legislation backed by Rep. Celeste Maloy would ban the consumer sale of sodium nitrite, a product becoming increasingly common in suicides.

27 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Sports psychologist explains an Olympic athlete’s feelings of grief