Bradley Wiggins – How Thomas will pick himself up (physically and mentally) after untimely crashes

Bradley Wiggins says that the Olympics has brought out a more open and honest side of cyclists.

And, speaking on the latest Bradley Wiggins Show podcast, he revealed that he wanted to give former team-mate Geraint Thomas a hug watching the Welshman’s interview after crashing out of the Olympic road race.

“When you watched him in that vulnerable state afterwards, talking about getting home back to his family, back to Sarah… it was lovely, it really was,” Wiggins said.

Tokyo 2020

Bradley Wiggins – Afghan refugee’s time trial debut at Olympics ‘puts everything into perspective’

2 HOURS AGO

He was quite reflective, G. Not necessarily feeling sorry for himself, but he was kind of questioning himself ‘why always me?’.

“But straight away he was focussed on the next thing, and he does pick himself up G, time and time again, which is what makes him a great athlete.

“It’s great to hear all these interviews, so open and honest. It’s the Olympics, it brings out a different side to people.”

Thomas suffered a nasty crash during the Tour de France earlier this summer, forcing him out of contention for his first main target of 2021.

And the 35-year-old was involved in another accident in the Olympic Road Race in Japan, crashing along with British team-mate Tao Geoghegan Hart before withdrawing from the race. And his injuries ultimately forced him out of contention for time trial medals later in the week.

“It’s disappointing, after the Tour and everything, I was really motivated to try and get something here,” Thomas, who has won two Olympic golds on the track but no medals on the road, said.

“So for that to happen, I was just sat on the floor thinking ‘why, what have I done in a previous life’ you know.

“There’s been so much time away from home and all the sacrifices you make.

There’s been an 11-week block where I only saw my son, and my wife, for four days. That’s a lot of commitment.

“And then there’s the diet and everything – let’s face it, I don’t enjoy eating rice and chicken and missing out on all the social occasions back home and a few normal beers with everyone. It’s just been tough mentally.

‘I just didn’t have it’ – GB’s Thomas reflects on disappointing Olympics

“It’s tough, it’s not that I’ve had a bad season you know, I’ve been up there on the podium a few times, but the main two targets, what you dream about, they are the ones that have ended up on the floor.

“So it is tough, but it’s part of the sport, like life in general as well: you don’t always get what you deserve, you just need to keep trying.

“It’s just after the Tour and the way that went, I was just thinking “what is going on, why”. But as I say, that’s how it goes sometimes.”

The conversation around mental health has been a major talking point of the Tokyo Games, and Wiggins says that it has been a big and important factor in the first week of cycling action in Japan.

“We’ve seen it with Rohan Dennis, we saw it with Tom Dumoulin, with the two refugees we saw today – which really does give perspective,” Wiggins said.

“When we were at the mountain bike we saw it with Jolanda Neff who won and two years ago she was on her death bed after having a really bad accident. And you see what it means to them.

‘We’re having that conversation now’ – Bradley Wiggins on athletes and mental health

“This is almost like a life thing for them. It’s not just about winning gold, it’s about a journey they’ve been on.

“I’m noticing that more and more – I don’t whether that rhetoric has always been there or I’m just noticing it for the first time being on this side of the fence.”

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

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‘A silver medal with a gold touch’ – Dumoulin on mental health and why he took a career break

YESTERDAY AT 14:53

Bradley Wiggins – Afghan refugee's time trial debut at Olympics ‘puts everything into perspective'

Bradley Wiggins says the story of Afghan refugee and Olympian Masomah Ali Zada “puts everything into perspective”.

Ali Zada was forced to flee Afghanistan and seek asylum in France, where she has continued to develop as a cyclist – a sport that is widely discouraged for women in her home country.

But the 25-year-old, who travelled to the Tokyo Olympics to represent the Refugee Olympic Team, competed in the women’s time trial this week. And, speaking on the latest Bradley Wiggins Show podcast, the former Tour de France winner says her story made a big impression.

Tokyo 2020

Bradley Wiggins – How Thomas will pick himself up (physically and mentally) after untimely crashes

2 HOURS AGO

“Watching the interview of the young refugee girl had us all quite emotional,” Wiggins said.

“You talk about perspective, I mean her story really does put everything into perspective. How eloquently she spoke, how powerfully she spoke, but how frail and how vulnerable she was at the same time, but so together and with it.

As a teenager training in Kabul she’d often get hit and pelted with stones by men shocked to see her unaccompanied on the streets on a bicycle, which you can’t imagine can you.

“It wasn’t about the result, I couldn’t even tell you what she got. It was just about her presence and what she was there for.”

Ali Zada spoke to Eurosport presenter Orla Chennaoui at the time trial, revealing that the Olympics was in fact her first ever time trial after a late decision to switch from her usual speciality in the road race.

“I got to ask her a little bit about her story, and she was saying how she wanted to send this message back to all the girls and women in Afghanistan, where riding a bike is still a political statement, a dangerous political statement,” Chennaoui said.

To be able to send that message to them, the first woman from her country, and, this is phenomenal… she’d never ridden a time trial before! Her first time trial was the Olympics.

“We started off this podcast saying how we’ve been living off half a night’s sleep and how we’d arrived at the venue with no lunch, we only had these crappy little salads,” Chennaoui continued.

“We were all having a bit of a self-indulgent moan, and then we go down and speak to her, and we had a word with ourselves. She’s come through so much to make it to this start and finish line, I think we can manage without a sandwich for a day.

“Again, it’s one of those times – that, that is what the Olympics is about.”

In her interview with Eurosport, Ali Zada said that by being at the Olympics she hoped to send a message back to the women of Afghanistan and those who look to “limit the rights of women”.

“I said to myself that I’m already a winner, a winner because I participate in the Olympics games so I’m a winner against all those who say women shouldn’t ride bikes,” she said.

I’m here and I’m so proud to represent for the right of women, for the rights of Afghan women.

“My message is mostly for people who want to limit women. My message is most for them, to give a strong answer to them that they cannot limit the rights of women.”

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

‘Jason is all about performance’ – Wiggins backs Kenny to pass him as GB’s most successful Olympian

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Tokyo 2020

‘A silver medal with a gold touch’ – Dumoulin on mental health and why he took a career break

YESTERDAY AT 14:53

Jessica Gadirova makes history for GB in all-around final

Jessica Gadirova made history as she became the highest placing British woman in an Olympic all-around gymnastics competition in her first ever Games.

The 16-year-old starlet finished 10th on an overall score of 53.965 with her twin sister, Jennifer claiming 13th spot with 53.533.

It follows on from the pair’s success as part of GB’s women’s gymnastics team, who claimed a bronze medal for the first time since 1928.

Tokyo 2020

Gymnastics – Tokyo 2020 – Olympic Highlights

26/07/2021 AT 19:18

Jessica’s achievement is all the more impressive after she upped the difficulty on her performance on the beam, only to fall on her third back flip. She continued and managed to end the competition with a flourish.

Speaking after completing a top-10 finish, she said: “That is pretty cool. I’m pleased with where I came. I was a bit annoyed that I had a fall on the beam, but it happens. You have to forget about it and move on. That’s what I did for the rest of the competition.

To come in 10th and making history in the all-around final for GB was just amazing.”

Asked about her upcoming individual final on the floor, she added: “I’m excited to go again. I’ll try to do the best I can. Whatever comes from it, I’ll just enjoy the moment. Whatever happens, I’ll still be top eight in the world at the Olympic games.”

Twin sister Jennifer was also delighted with her own display and admitted she had to put the joy of the team bronze to one side.

She said: “In my mind, I just restarted and tried to think like it never happened. It’s just another competition and all I want to do is go from A to B, go clean and do my best, that’s all I can really ask for. I am happy with where I came and I’m first reserve for the floor final, so I couldn’t ask for more.”

Asked about the unique experience of competing with her twin, Jennifer added: “It’s been amazing. Not many people share that with their sibling, let alone their twin. It’s an amazing feeling. We are so close, you really feel home sick. There can’t be any crowd, but we don’t feel alone. She is there for me.”

– –

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

Tweddle and Liukin inspiring hotshot Kinsella to Olympic glory

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Tokyo 2020

Hall: Olympic debut caps remarkable turnaround after ‘directionless’ days

25/05/2021 AT 15:56

China stun USA, Australia to win 4x200m freestyle relay gold in world record time

China stun USA and Australia to win the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay in world record time.

The Chinese team of Yang Juxuan, Tang Muhan, Zhang Yufei and Li Bingjie completed a remarkable race in a time of 7:40.33, surpassing the record of 7:41.50 set by Australia in Gwangju, South Korea, in 2019.

USA’s Katie Ledecky pushed her team up from bronze into silver position with a fine final leg, while it was slight disappointment for marginal gold favourites Australia, who finished in bronze position with a time of 7:41.29.

Tokyo 2020

Swimming – Tokyo 2020 – Olympic Highlights

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“I am absolutely stunned by that,” Lizzie Simmonds said on Eurosport commentary.

“That was an extraordinary swim. I think everyone had Australians eyed up, could the Americans catch them?

“We were not even talking about the Chinese swimmers. What an unbelievable swim from China!”

China led in the opening 100m with Canada’s Summer McIntosh turns in second place 0.08 seconds behind Yang Junxuan.

Ariarne Titmus made up ground for Australia and got her team into second place, +0.14 seconds behind China with Canada dropping into third.

Emma McKeon put Australia into first place with Muhan Tang and Canada’s Rebecca Smith trailing after the opening 100m of the second leg.

Canada slipped back with USA leapfrogging them into third thanks to Paige Madden, but China’s Tang still led the race with Australia falling into second.

Madison Wilson pushed Australia into top spot momentarily with 50m to go in the third leg, but Zhang restored China’s lead.

Li Bingjie shouldered the responsibiltiy of securing gold and it became a really tight race between her, Leah Neale and Katie Ledecky, who was having arguably the swim of her life, to the line.

It ended up being neck-and-neck between Li and Ledecky in the final 25m, but it was China who shocked the world by winning in world record time.

– – –

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

Swimming – Tokyo 2020 – Olympic Highlights

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Tokyo 2020

Swimming – Tokyo 2020 – Olympic Highlights

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‘A silver medal with a gold touch’ – Dumoulin on mental health and why he took a career break

Tom Dumoulin is back in love with cycling again.

The Dutch cyclist rode to an Olympic time-trial silver medal in Tokyo, just two months after making his comeback in the sport.

The 30-year-old former Giro d’Italia champion took an indefinite break from the sport in January this year, citing mental fatigue for his decision.

Tokyo 2020

‘Super special’ – Dumoulin reflects on silver medal and ‘re-finding love for cycling’

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But his team, Jumbo-Visma, welcomed him back to racing in June. And Dumoulin, who says that he could not have beaten Primoz Roglic to gold even if he had continued racing through the season, says that the medal is a result of him having rediscovered his love for the sport.

“It’s super special,” Dumoulin told Orla Chennaoui in Tokyo.

“Everybody knows that I had a strange year. I was overtrained in the spring and also mentally I definitely needed to step back and take a helicopter view of my cycling career, about my life and what I want to do in the future.

“It was very necessary and useful and very cool also, I had a really good time actually. And I re-found my love for the bike and for professional cycling.

“I set my goal for today actually. I wanted to get a medal here and aim for the highest, which was a medal for me, maybe not even gold.

I’m super happy with silver, this is a silver medal with a gold touch for me.

Dumoulin also finished second in the time trial in Rio five years ago. But the Dutchman says that this medal means more.

“This is definitely more special to me. With my time off and my setbacks in the last couple of months, it’s very special this one.”

‘What a day!’ – Roglic celebrates gold glory in time trial

Dumoulin’s decision to take a step back from the sport due to mental fatigue, and Jumbo-Visma’s willingness to support him, was celebrated as a gear-shift in the attitude towards mental health in cycling.

And a contented Dumoulin says he is back and in a better place thanks to his break.

“It’s me doing my thing, me listening to what I needed at that time and what I need now,” he told Eurosport.

“I don’t want to be a fighter for whatever, I’m taking my decisions in life and I’m very happy that I did.

“I can only encourage everyone, not to do the same choices, but to sometimes take a step back and to look at your life. That’s good.”

Tom Dumoulin of Team Netherlands rides during the Men’s Individual time trial on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Fuji International Speedway on July 28, 2021 in Oyama, Shizuoka, Japan.

Image credit: Getty Images

The subject of mental health is a dominant narrative of the Tokyo Games, after four-time Olympic gold medallist Simone Biles withdrawing from the team gymnastics competition after the first rotation.

Biles has subsequently opened up on her mental health struggles in the face of feeling the “weight of the world” on her shoulders, and has also withdrawn from Thurday’s all-around final.

And Wiggins says that Dumoulin, like Biles, has been extremely brave to have the courage to open up on his struggles.

“Elite sport is brutal and the demands and pressures athletes put on themselves are such a high standard now,” Wiggins said.

It feels like life and death when you’re out there. It’s OK when you get further down the line, you’re out the sport and it feels not that important. But it’s important when you’re doing it and that’s what becomes hard.

“I’d like to think cycling has changed a bit this year with what Tom [Dumoulin] has done. It’s testament to Tom as it’s come from his courage to say I want a break. It’s a brave thing to do because there’s no guarantee of coming back but he’s walked the walk.”

Wiggins added: “It’s a testament to his team as well, it might set to pathway for some sort of welfare within the sport, that people can go away to have a breather without the pressure of contracts – which is difficult in this day and age.”

‘We’re having that conversation now’ – Bradley Wiggins on athletes and mental health

Wiggins: I was insecure as an athlete

Meanwhile, five-time Olympic gold-medallist Wiggins has openly discussed his mental health struggles in the past.

In a frank conversation with fellow Team GB stars Adam Gemili and Andrew Pozzi on Eurosport’s Gemili & Poz podcast, Wiggins provided a deep insight into his life as an elite athlete.

“I was insecure in many ways as an athlete really,” Wiggins admitted.

“I had a veil and fronted as a bit of a rock star and things like that. I played the guitar – that was all just a front really.

“It wasn’t really me – it was just a veil that I hid behind.”

‘I came from a dysfunctional family on a council estate’ – Wiggins on his upbringing

The 2012 Tour de France champion added: “You’re expected to be so mentally strong when you’re an athlete – people say – ‘oh you won the Tour de France, you must be so mentally strong’. But it doesn’t correlate to normal life.

“I think a lot of elite athletes are insecure – I was very insecure off the bike – constantly questioning myself, constantly doubting myself.

“But when I could execute a performance, I seemed to be able to have something that dialled in and was able to block out all the emotion and everything. But off it, I didn’t know what to do with myself.”

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

‘Phenomenal’ – ‘Brave’ Dumoulin has ‘walked the walk’ – Wiggins

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Tokyo 2020

Wiggins: ‘Brave’ Dumoulin has changed how cycling views mental health

7 HOURS AGO

Wiggins: ‘Brave’ Dumoulin has changed how cycling views mental health

Bradley Wiggins has praised Tom Dumoulin’s bravery for opening up about his mental health struggles before returning to cycling and winning silver in the time trial at Tokyo 2020.

Four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles has shone a light on athletes’ battles with mental health at the Games, with the US superstar – arguably the poster girl of Tokyo 2020 – withdrawing from the all-around final on Thursday after pulling out of the women’s team final on Tuesday.

Biles has said she feels the “weight of the world” on her shoulders, and her participation in the remaining finals remains uncertain.

Tokyo 2020

‘A silver medal with a gold touch’ – Dumoulin on mental health and why he took a career break

2 HOURS AGO

Meanwhile, in the men’s cycling, Dumoulin sealed a sensational silver in the individual time trial just two months after making his return to racing.

‘What a day!’ – Roglic celebrates gold glory in time trial

The 30-year-old Dutchman, a former ITT world champion, had taken a break from the sport earlier this year to focus on his mental health, and Wiggins praised the Tokyo silver medallist for changing the way cycling approaches such issues.

“Elite sport is brutal and the demands and pressures athletes put on themselves are such a high standard now,” Wiggins said.

It feels like life and death when you’re out there. It’s OK when you get further down the line, you’re out the sport and it feels not that important. But it’s important when you’re doing it and that’s what becomes hard.

“I’d like to think cycling has changed a bit this year with what Tom [Dumoulin] has done. It’s testament to Tom as it’s come from his courage to say I want a break. It’s a brave thing to do because there’s no guarantee of coming back but he’s walked the walk.”

Wiggins added: “It’s a testament to his team as well, it might set to pathway for some sort of welfare within the sport, that people can go away to have a breather without the pressure of contracts – which is difficult in this day and age.”

Dumoulin took a step back from cycling in January, with the Jumbo-Visma rider admitting in April he had “become a little lost” before rediscovering his love for the sport.

Tom Dumoulin of Team Netherlands rides during the Men’s Individual time trial on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Fuji International Speedway on July 28, 2021 in Oyama, Shizuoka, Japan.

Image credit: Getty Images

“In April I slowly started cycling again and I also came back with a happy feeling more and more often. I thought: ‘Oh yeah, this is really fun after all,’” Dumoulin said, per Cycling Weekly.

“Then I decided to be present at the Amstel. And I found it very nice to see everyone again and to taste the atmosphere of the race. That triggered me to say ‘oh, this is a world in which I have built up something in recent years but that has also really become my world.’ A world that I really like.”

Wiggins: I was insecure as an athlete

Meanwhile, five-time Olympic gold-medallist Wiggins has openly discussed his mental health struggles in the past.

In a frank conversation with fellow Team GB stars Adam Gemili and Andrew Pozzi on Eurosport’s Gemili & Poz podcast, Wiggins provided a deep insight into his life as an elite athlete.

“I was insecure in many ways as an athlete really,” Wiggins admitted.

“I had a veil and fronted as a bit of a rock star and things like that. I played the guitar – that was all just a front really.

“It wasn’t really me – it was just a veil that I hid behind.”

‘I came from a dysfunctional family on a council estate’ – Wiggins on his upbringing

The 2012 Tour de France champion added: “You’re expected to be so mentally strong when you’re an athlete – people say – ‘oh you won the Tour de France, you must be so mentally strong’. But it doesn’t correlate to normal life.

“I think a lot of elite athletes are insecure – I was very insecure off the bike – constantly questioning myself, constantly doubting myself.

“But when I could execute a performance, I seemed to be able to have something that dialled in and was able to block out all the emotion and everything. But off it, I didn’t know what to do with myself.”

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

‘Super special’ – Dumoulin reflects on silver medal and ‘re-finding love for cycling’

3 HOURS AGO

Tokyo 2020

‘Phenomenal’ – ‘Brave’ Dumoulin has ‘walked the walk’ – Wiggins

6 HOURS AGO

'Every woman should decide what to wear' – Germany's gymnasts protest in full body suits

Germany’s female gymnasts wore full-body suits as they competed in the qualification round at the Olympics as part of their protest against unfair, uncomfortable, sexualised dress codes in sport.

Sarah Voss, Pauline Schaefer-Betz, Elisabeth Seitz and Kim Bui all wore red and white outfits that covered their bodies to the ankles – a sharp contrast to the traditional leotards that are usually seen in competition.

Tokyo 2020

Team GB’s Gadirova twins qualify for all-around artistic gymnastics final in Tokyo

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They had worn similar outfits for practice last week, and Seitz was quoted as saying that it was “about what feels comfortable”.

We wanted to show that every woman, everybody, should decide what to wear.”

This is the second time Germany have protested on the international stage about these dress codes – they wore similar outfits at the European Championships earlier this year, and Voss said then that they wanted to help young women feel safer and more comfortable while competing.

– – –

Watch every unmissable moment live from Tokyo 2020 across Eurosport, Eurosport app and discovery+. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.

Tokyo 2020

‘Oh! Out of character!’ – Biles stumbles out of bounds in floor routine

4 HOURS AGO

Tokyo 2020

Biles ‘means business’ in tough beam routine in Tokyo

4 HOURS AGO

Osaka, Barty, Watson begin bid for Olympic tennis glory this weekend

Top seed and Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty begins her Tokyo Olympics campaign against Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo.

The Japanese second seed opens her campaign against Zheng Saisai of China.

Tokyo 2020

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Great Britain’s Heather Watson has a winnable match against German Anna-Lena Friedsam, a player ranked just one place above her.

Heather Watson

Image credit: Getty Images

Elsewhere, third seed Aryna Sabalenka from Bulgaria faces Magda Linette from Poland.

Spain Garbine Muguruza is up against Veronika Kudermetova from the Russian Olympic Committee, while seventh seed Karolina Pliskova clashes with Alize Cornet from France.

Sixth seed Elina Svitolina has been drawn against German Laura Siegemund.

The hardcourt tournament starts on Saturday at the Ariake Tennis Park. The women’s singles gold medal and bronze medal matches, as well as the women’s doubles bronze medal match and mixed doubles bronze medal match will be played on July 31st.

The women’s doubles gold medal match and mixed doubles gold medal match will be played the following day.

– – –

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

Murray gets tough Olympic draw – faces Auger-Aliassime in singles opener

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Tokyo 2020

The honeymoon can wait – Newlywed Svitolina focuses on Olympics

YESTERDAY AT 09:47

Trailblazers – Muhammad Ali: The Greatest

Boxing

Trailblazers – Muhammad Ali: The Greatest

In the latest epsiode of Trailblazers, the Eurosport series showcasing sport’s greatest stories and heroes who inspired meaningful change, we salute the great Muhammad Ali. “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam, while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”

00:09:05, 2 hours ago