Winter Olympian Charlotte Gilmartin talks to Nicola Dean about the considerable pressures of performing at an elite level.
“Just because you’re successful in sport, it doesn’t mean you’re happy.”
Charlotte Gilmartin is a 2x Winter Olympian GB short-track speed skater. Since she retired after the last Olympics, she’s dedicated herself to championing safeguarding adults in sport.
Charlotte has first-hand experience of just how fraught and intense life can be for elite athletes. A talent scout recognised her skills at a birthday party. Just three years later she was on the GB speed skating team. By this point she was just 15 years old; still a child, but suddenly expected to deal with the sort of pressures that could try even the most experienced of athletes.
Charlotte talks about how the “hunger” of being an elite athlete makes happiness and contentment effectively impossible. The constant pressure to be your best is not conducive to mental and physical wellbeing. Often, the drive to win can directly contradict the six principles of adult safeguarding.
Help us develop best practice in safeguarding adults in sport!
If you want to hear more from Charlotte, she’s taking part in our Safeguarding Adults in Sport Participation Forums. This is your chance to help us develop best practice in safeguarding adults in sport!
We want to develop some shared understanding with a discussion forum with sports participants and staff.
- What does safeguarding mean to you?
- And what can individuals, clubs, and organisations do to keep people safe
Among other things we’ll discuss possible safeguarding risks, and whose responsibility it is to keep people safe. We’ll also explore good practice, and some examples of what happens when things go wrong.