Mental Health and Resilience: Lessons from an Olympic Medalist

Mental Health and Resilience: Lessons from an Olympic Medalist

Marilyn Okoro has competed in elite professional athletics for 15 years in the 400m and 800m, recently retiring from the sport.  She is a 2 x Great Britain Olympian where she gained a bronze medal in the 4 x 400m relay.   

Now Marilyn is a Athletepreneur, Public Speaker, Life Coach and Trackside Media Co- Host.

She is also an ambassador for The Sports Business Club and very passionate about reducing the stigma around mental health in sport.

Our guest today is very inspirational, Marilyn Okoro was a top class athlete, an Olympic bronze medalist and now an athletepreneur and mentor.  In this episode we discuss what it takes to compete to such a high level in elite sport.  We chat about perfectionism, being yourself despite the challenges sport brings, the cultures that exist in elite sport and how they can be helpful and equally damaging.   Marilyn also discusses some mental health challenges that she has had and what she is up to now after recently retiring from the track.

Key Takeaways:

  • Athletics can be quite a lonely sport. 
  • Perfection doesn’t exist, every time I ran a PB, I always found something I could have done better.
  • Look to strive for excellence, striving for perfection can be dangerous.
  • Governing bodies and organisations have to work with the individual to play to their strengths.
  • To learn to deliver my best performances under pressure, I had to learn to control the controllables.
  • As an athlete, you have to be super focused and make decisions for the betterment of your sport and your performance.
  • If you aren’t allowed to speak up you can’t be comfortable in your own skin.

Connect with Marilyn Okoro:




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Helpful Podcast Episodes

Podcast Ep011: Dave Algeo – Mental Toughness, Mental Health and High Performance

Podcast Ep033: Aly Dixon – Mental Toughness Lessons from a World Champion

Podcast Ep065 Amy Izycky – Encouraging Mentally Healthy Cultures in Sport

Other Useful Resources linked to Mental Health

Blog – Make Better Decisions to Help Your Sport Performance

Blog – 5 Ways to Create a Psychological Safe Sporting Environment

Blog – 3 Tips to Deal with Bullying in Sport



Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes, they’re extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and we read every single one of them!

David Charlton

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Global Sports Psychologist who is located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.  David also uses online video conferencing software (Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp) on a regular basis and has clients who he has supported in USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Australian and New Zealand.  

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly.  

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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