Stress in Sports – UPSC GS2

Utility: This incident can be used as an example in essays or in answers related to sports.
Context: Tennis number 2 player Naomi Osaka withdrew from French Open citing mental stress due to commercial obligations.
  • Naomi wrote about the compulsion to attend post-match press conferences four days before the onset of the French open tournament.
  • Later, she skipped her first post-match conference and was fined $15000.
  • Subsequently, a joint statement of 4 great slams threatened her with defaults and suspensions in future tournaments.
  • She withdrew from the tournament on account of severe mental stress posed by press conferences.
Issue at hand:
  • Issue of mental stress and anxiety is present in almost every sporting event.
  • Organizers’ insistence on media interaction may leave a deep impact on the mental well-being of an athlete.
  • The media doesn’t shy away from asking personal questions for raising the TRPs in their interview. This generates higher revenues but impairs the mental health of athletes.
  • There are many athletes who are not as wealthy as Naomi. They are unable to quit the tournament and continue to face repeated mental stress.
  • Instance shows the existence of a disconnect between how critics and spectators interpret the sport’s nature and what it actually is. The instance has once again proved that all that glitters is not gold.

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