Simon Orchard

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Aug 16

Transitioning from elite sport to the ‘real world’ can take its toll on mental health | Simon Orchard

Nothing can replace the joy sport brings and establishing a new identity in a world without what had previously defined you is mentally taxing

It was the fictional fashionista, Derek Zoolander, who asked himself, “Who am I?” as he peered poignantly into a puddle that bore his own reflection in the 2001 cult classic Zoolander, only moments after losing the male model of the year award to his arch rival, Hansel.

In defeat, he lost his identity. If he wasn’t the best model on the planet anymore, then who the hell was he? The movie jests, but I have seriously asked myself the same question several times in the last 12 months during the “transition”.

Related: ‘Athletes die two times’: Australian stars reveal post-retirement struggles

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