Money does not buy happiness – Peaty dismayed by reaction to planned break from swimming

By Sports Desk August 02, 2021

Olympic champion Adam Peaty was left disappointed by some of the reaction to his plans to take an extended break from swimming.

It has been another fruitful Games in Tokyo for Team GB swimmer Peaty, who claimed gold in the 100 metres breaststroke and 4x100m mixed medley, as well as a silver in the men's 4x100m medley.

After taking his overall Olympic medal tally to five, Peaty announced on Sunday that he would be taking a break from the pool to recharge the batteries ahead of a hectic 2022 schedule.

While set to miss the International Swimming League, which starts in September, he will set his sights on the World and European Championships next year, as well as the Commonwealth Games.

Peaty cited the need to protect his mental health, becoming the latest high-profile athlete to do so in recent days after Simone Biles and Ben Stokes.

He said the reaction to his announcement to over 116,000 followers on Twitter showed why there remains "such a stigma around mental health", insisting the pressures of competition make taking time out essential.

"Reading some of the comments in response to this is why we have such a stigma around mental wellbeing in sport," tweeted Peaty, who has now won a combined 31 gold medals in major competitions.

"It isn't a normal job. There is a huge amount of pressure. Money does not buy happiness.

"I'm taking a break because I've been going extremely hard for as long as I can remember. I've averaged two weeks off a year for the last seven years.

"Unfortunately, there are people out there who think they know you more than you know yourself."

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