The gold medal winning sport star quit the world of diving in 2019 following success at the Rio Olympic games and is focusing on producing and making music instead
History made as Team GB’s Chris Mears and Jack laugher win first ever diving goal
Chris Mears says he was driven away from his career as a diver after realising his Olympic skills were not bringing him happiness.
The 28-year-old former sport star hung up his speedos in 2019 to carve out a career in music instead – having previously won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics alongside Jack Laugher in the three meter synchro springboard event.
Chris found a passion for music while still pursuing his Olympic dreams – learning guitar and producing dance music in his bedroom before going on to perform on stage from 2013.
He later went on to release a single titled Mexico which was released in 2015 – and is now one half of a performing duo called Bloodline.
While the former athlete is now happiest behind DJ decks or writing music, he says he reached a low point not long after winning gold at the Olympics.
Baring his soul in the Dangerous Dinners Podcast, Chris said he became “bitter about a lot of stuff” before deciding to retire from sport in 2019.
He expanded: “I realised I can’t take any more of being a diver – I can’t do it.
“I forced myself to get through it, and everyone else forced me to get through it. They thought I would turn a corner but the corner never got turned.
“The only way it got turned was for me to step away and move on and carve out a new career for myself. I’d like to think I was doing well but I was not at all.”
He added: “It’s only in the last year I’ve felt really great, back to normal – that fire, that energy, that magic that made me do all of the stuff I did before.”
Last month, Chris told the BBC that he fell into a depression after finding victory at the Rio games.
He said: “It just came crashing down. No-one teaches you how to process becoming an Olympic Champion.”
He explained: “For years I told myself that I’d be happy when I get this, and when I get to this position I’ll be happy- and then I got it and I wasn’t.”
Chris credits therapy and talking about his feelings as key for getting over his depression – and urges other men to seek help or tell their friends about their concerns.
He said: “For me, it was therapy. As males we don’t talk about mental health enough – it is starting to happen but it is so important.
“A lot of females are more open to talking about stuff; they’ll go to their girls and talk about how stuff is going. Males just go ‘alright lad, you’ll be fine’.”
Explaining how he tracked down help himself, he said: “I googled therapy, literally. I knew I needed it so badly, and that was all it took for me. That was my first step and I do not regret it.”
His words of wisdom come at a time when a number of high profile sport stars have gone public about the struggles they face in the spotlight.
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Cricket champion Ben Stokes announced last week that he is taking an “indefinite break” from the sport to “prioritise his mental well-being”.
American Olympian Simone Biles last month withdrew from the Tokyo Games as a result of her own mental health struggles.
While earlier this year, tennis star Naomi Osaka chose to drop out of giving press interviews around Grand Slam tournaments due to the mental health impact such spotlight attention caused her.