Olympic champion Lisa Carrington discusses mental health, looking forward to seeing her family after gold medal wins

New Zealand's most-decorated Olympian Lisa Carrington has revealed how she manages her mental health while competing in high-level sport.

The Olympic champion, who won three gold medals at Tokyo, is seeing out her managed isolation in Christchurch, after returning from the Games.

Carrington says she's fortunate to have people around her to help her through when times get tough.

"I can only speak from my own experience and for me, there's a huge pressure with what we do," she tells The Project. "But I kind of worked out that, with the pressure, I have to find processes and little things that help me move through those challenges."

The discussions of mental health in high-level sport comes after the sudden death of Rio Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore this month. There have also been concerns that the performance of athletes is prioritised over their wellbeing and mental health.

"I've found that when times are tough, it's often when I just have to sit down and work it out, and confront what's worrying me or what I'm afraid of."

Lisa Carrington.
Lisa Carrington. Photo credit: The Project

Although Carrington knew New Zealanders were tuning in to see her race at Tokyo, she had to turn off her social media accounts, so she could concentrate on competing.

"To be honest, I was just in my little bubble over there with my team," she says. "It was all about just doing one job at a time and that's how I had to get through the week."

As she nears the end of her stay in MIQ - and after being away from her family for two months - she's looking forward to celebrating her medal wins with friends and family.

"It will be nice just to be with them and let them be proud. I find it super hard to let my family be proud of me, so that's something that will be so important for them."

Watch the video above.

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