Team GB kayak slalom star Kimberley Woods opened up on how she managed her mental health struggles to reach the Olympic Games.
Woods reached the final of the K-1 slalom, but missed a gate on her run in the final to pick up a significant penalty and finish tenth.
The distraught 25-year-old from Rugby Canoe Club knew she was out of contention as soon as she finished her run, and was consoled by her team before leaving the water.
Tokyo 2020
K1, K2, C1 & C2
02/08/2021 AT 00:31

Kimberley Woods of Team Great Britain in the Women's Kayak Slalom Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo

Image credit: Getty Images

But even being at the Tokyo Olympics is an achievement for Woods, who has learnt how to manage a severe case of depression and is now extremely open about her experience in the hope of helping others.
“I’ve struggled with mental health, I’ve been bullied at school, just getting to the Olympic Games was such a big achievement with what everyone has been going through this past year,” Woods told Eurosport presenter Orla Chennaoui.
Just to get here and get to the final was like 'woah'.
"I had a bit of an emotional time thinking that I’m in the Olympic final, but it wasn’t for me today and I’m sure whoever wins today will be well deserving.”
When asked for a message to anyone watching back home that may be struggling with depression, Woods pointed to how she went through a lot to learn the skills required.
“I think just try and keep open and honest with yourself,” she said.
It took me quite a lot of time to be like that and if I hadn’t learned the skills going through, seeing psychologists and going through all that help, I’d be a much different person today and I probably wouldn’t be at the Olympics.
“I’m trying to do those skills now while I’m talking to you, just trying to be open and honest to help you feel comfortable.”
- - -
Watch every unmissable moment live from Tokyo 2020 across Eurosport, the Eurosport app and discovery+. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.
Tokyo 2020
Forbes-Cryans misses out on canoe slalom medal
30/07/2021 AT 07:49
Tokyo 2020
Forbes-Cryans books ticket to final of Men’s Kayak
30/07/2021 AT 06:12