WNBA star Liz Cambage withdraws from Australia’s Olympic team citing mental health

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WNBA star Liz Cambage has withdrawn from Australia’s 2021 Olympic girls’s basketball staff following experiences of a breach of the staff’s COVID-19 bubble.

Cambage reportedly engaged in a verbal and bodily trade throughout a behind-closed-doors scrimmage match in opposition to Nigeria in Las Vegas, the place the Australian girls’s staff are based mostly forward of their quest for gold in Tokyo.

Information Corp additionally reported the four-time WNBA All-Star broke nationwide staff protocols to exit in Las Vegas just lately, a matter which was already underneath investigation by Basketball Australia.

Based on ESPN’s Olgun Uluc, the pair of incidents prompted an investigation and “discussions relating to her potential removing” from the staff only a week earlier than the video games begin.

Nevertheless, Cambage launched a press release late Friday, revealing she had determined to withdraw from the Olympic staff citing considerations over her psychological well being.

“Anybody that is aware of me is aware of one among my greatest desires is successful an Olympic gold medal with the Opals. Each athlete competing within the Olympic video games ought to be at their psychological and bodily peak, and in the meanwhile,” the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist stated.

“I’m a great distance from the place I need and have to be. It’s no secret that previously I’ve struggled with my psychological well being and just lately I’ve been actually apprehensive about heading right into a “bubble” Olympics. No household. No pals. No followers. No help system outdoors of my staff. It’s truthfully terrifying for me. The previous month I’ve been having panic assaults, not sleeping and never consuming. 

“Counting on day by day treatment to manage my nervousness is just not the place I wish to be proper now. Particularly strolling into competitors on the world’s greatest sporting stage.

“I do know myself, and I do know I can’t be the Liz everybody deserves to see compete for the Opals. Not proper now not less than. I have to handle myself mentally and bodily. 

“It breaks my coronary heart to announce I’m withdrawing from the Olympics, however I believe it’s greatest for the Opals and myself. I want them nothing however the very best of luck in Tokyo and I hope they go forth and win a gold medal. Love and lightweight,” she concluded.

The AOC will discover the potential for a late substitute for Cambage within the Opals Staff.

AOC Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman says he understood Cambage’s determination.

“Liz has made an incredible contribution to the Australian Olympic Staff over two Olympic Video games campaigns. We respect her determination and need her the very best in returning to full well being,” Chesterman stated.

“Our focus now strikes to working with the Opals to allow them to obtain the objectives they’ve set for themselves in Tokyo. We all know they’re completely dedicated to reaching success in Tokyo and they’re going to nonetheless convey a extremely sturdy staff to this marketing campaign.”

A pivotal member of their previous two Olympic campaigns, Cambage’s exit comes as a devastating blow to the Opals, and follows the withdrawal of NBA star Ben Simmons from the Boomers facet. 

The Opals are thought-about a robust gold medal probability behind favorites Staff USA, with the 2 powerhouse groups attributable to face off in a closing exhibition match over the weekend earlier than departing for Tokyo.

The 29-year-old’s exclusion additionally leaves the Opals a participant brief for his or her Tokyo marketing campaign, with Cambage one among 11 gamers named, and no reserve emergency gamers included within the squad.



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