In the zsomer’s past, the mental health of top athletes suddenly became world news.
Naomi Osaka missed the Roland Garros tournament, Simone Biles withdrew from the Olympics and Nafie Thiam burst into tears after her gold medal.
Speak frankly: the pressure on top athletes is enormous, expectations are high, and goals are sometimes unrealistic.
Canvas deals with related topics and has already been working on a documentary series on this topic for several months.
In the three-part documentary The Winner’s Prize, top Flemish athletes from various disciplines testify to the downside of their lives as athletes.
The focus of this series is the mental well-being of athletes. The witnesses were or were all professional athletes. Most of them are still active, and a few have recently stopped.
There are testimonials from, among others, Ann Simmons (Judo), Louise Carton, Elaine Berings, Bachir Abdi and Sofiane Bouchikhi (Athletics), Axel Klinkart and Gael Mays (gymnastics), Kim Mustadagh, Ritten Obasuhan and Thomas van den Spiegel (basketball). ). , Frank Box (football), Fanny Luques (swimming) and Louis Vervaijk (cycling).
Witnesses speak of eating disorders, stress, abuse of power, loneliness, depression and exhaustion.
In the context of higher sports, these phenomena can take extreme forms, but at the same time they are broad social topics that the makers of the series want to bring up for discussion.
In this sense, the prize for the winner is not about the top sport per se, but many people will admit themselves to problems that also exist in other sections of society.
Some of the series’ athletes testify for the first time about what happened to them during their careers.
These experiences often contrast sharply with the image the general public has of them. What appears in the media is only a small part of what is actually going on in the mind and life of the best athlete.
Winner Prize: Monday, November 29 at 21.20
Hours on Canvas and VRT NU.