Peaty looking forward to Paris 2024 after mental health break

FILE PHOTO: Commonwealth Games - Swimming - Men's 50m Breaststroke - Final - Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Birmingham, Britain - August 2, 2022 England's Adam Peaty celebrates after winning gold REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov/File Photo

(Reuters) – Triple Olympic swimming champion Adam Peaty said he took a break from the sport to halt his “endless search” for rewards but the Briton hopes he will be in a better mindset at the Paris Games next year.

Peaty said in March that he was tired and not enjoying swimming as much as before as he pulled out of the British championships in April to focus on his mental health.

The Briton, who also missed the 2022 world championships in Budapest after fracturing a bone in his foot, has previously spoken about periods of depression and problems with alcohol.

“I took a break because I was on this endless search of a gold medal or a world record and I looked into the future and I said, ‘OK, if I do get that is my life fixed or any better?’ No,” Peaty told the BBC on Tuesday.

“So take the time now to really think about who you are, what you want out of life and then get the gold medal. Hopefully when I get to the Olympics I will be in a very good mindset, very grateful and most importantly happy.

“As athletes our brains are wired a little bit differently, we’re constantly chasing reward and if we can see that reward we will work extremely hard for that reward,” added Peaty, who won two gold medals and a silver at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and holds the 50m and 100m breaststroke world records.

“For me it was something that I was constantly chasing and constantly doing and I was like, ‘I don’t want this in my life, I don’t really want to do this all the time.'”

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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