Of course, depression doesn’t always lead to suicide. In Caludia’s case it seems everyone was surprised and shocked by what has happened.
Hubert Rohrauer, her former trainer, said:
“We met up only the evening before. Nobody could have predicted such an irrational action. She was a perfectionist and strong-willed.”
The Austrian Judo Association said:
Deeply shaken, we have received the news of the death of Claudia Heill on 03/31/2011.
Claudia was an outstanding athlete and a role model for all human judoka.
In 1998 she was crowned European Champion for the U20, a year later they erected in the same competition, the silver medal. In addition to three bronze and two silver medals at European Championships 2002-2007 Claudia reached in 2004 its sporting highlight, as they at the Olympic Games in Athens, won the silver medal.
The Austrian Judo Association will keep Claudia in honorable remembrance.
According to reports, one in six professional athletes will suffer from depression during their careers. If you think about the demands of being a professional athlete, many factors can contribute to depression:
- Injury – Suffering an injury takes you out of the game and doesn’t allow you to contribute or perform.
- Fatigue – The grind of a long season or tightly scheduled matches can wear on mental health.
- Self doubt – If performance slips or the will flags behind, self doubt can begin to eat away at mental health.
- Loss – Hitting a bad streak and losing more than winning can contribute to depression forming.
No one can say for sure why Claudia chose to end her life and there is no proof it was related to depression, but athletes cannot ignore the mental health aspect of training and performing.