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 TMS at the Olympics
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United Kingdom
61 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2008 :  02:16:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Interesting comment in a story about Liu Xiang's failure due to injury (

"I sympathise with him enormously," said Wang Xiaoshan, a writer with Sports Illustrated. "This is such a pity. My guess is that it is the pressure from 1.3 billion people which hurt him. I don't think it has much to do with the injury, for even if he was injured he would have had time to recover. I think he might have psychological difficulties."


118 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2008 :  06:28:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't know how many here watched the swimming, but when Grant Hackett was racing the 1500 the commentators kept talking about his tendency to have respiratory issues at big meets. They were saying he avoids touching hand-rails and other things that make him sound like a total germaphobe. I don't know if his problems are TMS related but I'm sure the pressures of the Olympics could cause some TMS type problems!

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490 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2008 :  08:35:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Interesting that the one writer commented on "psychological difficulties". The WSJ today makes similar comments about the effects of all that pressure--carrying the burden of the entire country.
I feel for this athlete--having to deal with criticism and angry people now! I hope he will listen to the message his body's giving him.
This is no surprise really though, knowing the mind has such power over the body. These athletes are under more pressure than I can imagine! And it's GOT to affect them.
Interestingly, I caught a few minutes of 2 ½ men last night and Charlie was in therapy – the psych said he was having “physical manifestation” of an emotional reaction to . . . Wow! Word is spreading!

Edited by - mizlorinj on 08/19/2008 09:32:06
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25 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2008 :  11:25:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was actually going to make a post about this, but you beat me to it! I immediately thought it was TMS when watching it and listening to what they were saying. He suddenly got an intense flare-up over the weekend (wouldn't expect this from taking it easy during the few days before your event). They also said that in China, Liu Xiang and Yao Ming are the two most major athletes and that the 110m hurdles that Liu Xiang was competing in was the most anticipated event for the Chinese in the olympics. That is A LOT of pressure!

Interestingly, this wasn't the only 110m hurdler that I thought might have had a TMS attack:

"Trammell, a silver medalist in 2004 and 2000, was trying to become the first male hurdler to win medals in three straight Games. (Shirley Strickland of Australia is the only person to do it, with bronze-gold-gold in 1948, 1952, 1956).

He was in heat 5 of the first round but managed to get over just one hurdle before straining a hamstring muscle in his left leg and pulling up."

He has gone over hurdles thousands upon thousands of times and suddenly injures himself at the start of a race with the pressure to be the only male to win medals three Olympics in a row. Either TMS or he is very, very unlucky!
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269 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2008 :  11:59:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My heart goes out to those athletes, particularly when the WSJ is talking about their "psychological difficulties." I mean, to be an Olympian you have to be perfectionist and at least a little bit OCD to get there. And as we've all learned from Sarno and this forum, TMS is pretty common, and those traits are pretty common within the TMS diagnosis.

What's sad first and what we all lament is that there isn't a better awareness of TMS and the correlative of that--acceptance. What follows then is that these common psychologically-induced symptoms are reduced to getting the stigmatized "psychosomatic" label slapped on them--and then they become embarrassing. I hope these athletes recover and have a chance to experience a comeback!
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