David McDuff, MD, Director of the Sports Psychiatry Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is available for media interviews today to discuss the stress Olympic athletes are under during the most important competitions of their lives.
"There are several unique factors occurring during the summer 2021 Olympics that are unprecedented," Dr. McDuff says. "The media coverage and social media have become more extensive and harsher than in the past. The highest level Olympians have far more pressures from sponsors and interview requirements to build their brand. Lastly, the global COVID pandemic has placed enormous pressure on athletes leaving them in fear of infection and isolated from friends and family members who are not allowed to attend in person this year."
He can also discuss the mental health toolkit developed by the International Olympic Committee to help protect athletes and keep them from endangering their health. He has tips for athletes to help them maintain their mental focus including "keeping their world small" by focusing on sleep, relaxation, nutrition and training routines.
Dr. McDuff was recently featured on CBS News (Baltimore) discussing this topic.
He was also quoted last week in Scientific American on the use of marijuana by Olympic athletes.