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The Power of Resilience: “Mental toughness is the secret to success”

British gold medal-winning sprinter Asha Philip didn’t start her athletic career as a world-class runner. From the age of four, Philip trained on a double mini-trampoline, winning World Junior Champion in that sport. But in 2017, she suffered “a freak trampoline landing” that severely injured her cruciate ligament and threatened her athletic career.

So how does a child, of age of seventeen, get back up. It felt like I had lost something. I had lost a part of me. I wanted to give up. And when you’re at that point of just giving up, that’s when you’re meant to really turn your life around and change.”

This BBC Ideas video shares Philip’s story of resilience.

Asha Philip - accident during competition

“It was my Mum who believed in me, and for that, I believed in her. I really do question how I made it out. It was little by little. Coming in to do the rehab. Step by step you started to see improvement. The crutches went away, then I could walk, I was able to jog and then run. But then I had loads of injuries along the way. The only thing standing between success and failure is mental toughness. It’s about being resilient.

Being an athlete isn’t like a normal job. The gym. Strengthening. The mind work. The fitness. For one shot. For eleven seconds. There are a lot of knockbacks. A lot. It’s how you handle it.

Philip credits her Olympics-worthy comeback to hard work, resilience, focus, and support.

Asha Philip
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• Olympic Champion Wilma Rudolph Wins in Rome (1960)
• How Chloe Kim made the 2018 Olympic Halfpipe Snowboard Team
• Alana Nichols, the first woman to win gold in two Paralympics

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