The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has announced that Opals player Liz Cambage has withdrawn from the Australian Olympic Team to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman says he understands Liz Cambage’s decision.
“Liz has made a great contribution to the Australian Olympic Team over two Olympic Games campaigns. We respect her decision and wish her the best in returning to full health.
“Our focus now moves to working with the Opals so they can achieve the goals they have set for themselves in Tokyo. We know they are totally committed to achieving success in Tokyo and they will still bring a incredibly strong team to this campaign,” Mr Chesterman concluded.
Liz Cambage has wished the team well while she focuses on her health.
“Anyone that knows me knows one of my biggest dreams is winning an Olympic gold medal with the Opals. 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 and recently I’ve been really worried about heading into a “bubble” Olympics. No family. No friends. No fans. No support system outside of my team. It’s honestly terrifying for me. The past month I have been having panic attacks, not sleeping and not eating.
“Relying on daily medication to control my anxiety is not the place I want to be right now. Especially walking into competition on the world’s biggest sporting stage.
“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. I need to take care of myself mentally and physically.
“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. Love and light,” she concluded.
The AOC will explore the potential for a late replacement for Liz Cambage in the Opals Team.