Sunday 19 May 2019

Former Olympian Gillick reveals his fight back from the brink of despair

Olympic hero David Gillick considered taking his own life when his career was ended by injuries
Olympic hero David Gillick considered taking his own life when his career was ended by injuries

Allison Bray

Former Olympic track and field star David Gillick has revealed he came close to taking his own life after a series of injuries ended his athletic career.

The 35-year-old father-of-two from Ballinteer, south Dublin, recalled a bleak Monday back in 2015 when he found himself on the brink after reluctantly retiring from athletics in May, 2013.

"I hated Mondays because I hated thinking about the week ahead. I had a meltdown over something really small and unimportant, then stormed out of the house and into the car," he told today's Irish Independent's 'Weekend Magazine.'

"I looked at my phone an hour later and there were 20 missed calls from (his wife) Charlotte. She'd heard on the radio that a person had died by suicide after jumping from a bridge on the M50, and she was convinced it was me.

"It was an ongoing thing where my thoughts were becoming quite scary. I can remember driving back from Derry one time and thinking, 'You know what, I could just drive into this oncoming truck'.

"I knew that something had to change. I had to face up to what was happening to me, to all that anger, frustration and anxiety I'd been feeling," he said.

Thankfully, he found the strength to fight his demons and sought therapy. He also re-trained as a sports psychologist and took up cooking - winning Celebrity MasterChef.

He has also just published 'Back on Track' - described as a healthy lifestyle book which combines recipes with his own tips on self-reinvention.

If you or anyone you know needs support call Samaritans on freephone 116 123, text 087 260 9090 (standard text rates apply) or email

Irish Independent

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