WNBA player Elizabeth Cambage has announced that she will not be participating in the Tokyo Olympics due to having mental health issues. In a statement she posted on Twitter, the Las Vegas Aces center said she wouldn’t be participating due to battling with anxiety symptoms. Cambage has been to the Olympics twice before playing with the Australian women’s basketball team known as the Opals.
“Anyone that knows me knows one of my biggest dreams is winning an Olympic gold medal with the Opals,” she wrote. “Every athlete competing in the Olympic games should be at their mental and physical peak, and at the moment, I’m a long way from where I want and need to be. It’s no secret that in the past I’ve struggled with my mental health.”
Cambage added that for the past month her anxiety symptoms have been at a peak and she couldn’t imagine going to Tokyo at this time and not having her support system.
“No family. No friends. No fans. No support system outside of my team,” she said. “It’s honestly terrifying for me. The past month I have been having panic attacks, not sleeping and not eating.”
She said that she isn’t open to taking anxiety medication at this time.
“I know myself, and I know I can’t be the Liz everyone deserves to see compete for the Opals. Not right now at least,” she concluded. “It breaks my heart to announce I’m withdrawing from the Olympics, but I think it’s best for the Opals and myself. I wish them nothing but the best of luck in Tokyo and I hope they go forth and win a gold medal.”
Her announcement comes after claims that she was involved in two incidents while training in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s reported by Olgun Uluc of ESPN that she had a physical altercation and a heated argument during a scrimmage that led to discussions about her removal from the summer games.
Cambage won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics and made it to the quarterfinals with the Opals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The Tokyo Olympics begin on July 23, 2021.