Iwan Thomas reveals Prince Harry had crucial role in his depression recovery

Olympian and Strictly star Iwan Thomas was struggling with suicidal thoughts until he sought counselling, now in his new book he reveals how Prince Harry gave him the help he didn’t know he needed.

Olympian and Strictly star Iwan Thomas has spoken openly about her mental health issues and suicidal thoughts while revealing Prince Harry’s pivotal role in her recovery.

The Welsh sprinter who won silver at the 1996 Atlanta Games has spoken openly about his depression, which led him to consider taking his own life. Iwan, now 50, is famous for winning gold at the 1997 World Championships and beating world records.

But the athlete also suffered a severe bout of depression, and spoke of how he struggled to get out of bed and felt “dazed”. Now, as a mental health advocate, he wants to help others. He said: “Beating that record, it all happened so quickly for me, but it all went away so quickly too.”

“All kinds of things were coming up to me, one Madame Tussauds’ Wax figures, MBEs, praise everywhere. I thought, “This is great, I still have years left.” The reality was that this was the best I could get.

“Then everything started to fall apart and the injuries started. I was at a low point, it was horrible. I felt like if I suddenly said I was struggling, they would say: ‘Your rivals will now think you are not as tough as you say and they won’t fear you on the track’. I couldn’t really show that side of me, the soft side. I always had to try to be the alpha male and the brash one who takes life in stride.”

Iwan with the silver medal in the men’s 400-meter relay((Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Iwan kept pushing himself in hopes of regaining his form. “Athletics was a big part of my identity,” he said. “Without it, I felt like I had nothing. Would I still matter? Would people still like me? Those were all insecurities I had.”

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“I couldn’t stop being an athlete and I should have retired long before I did. But I kept thinking my body could take it. In the end it didn’t.” In his autobiography, Brutal, Iwan writes movingly how he was left sobbing, numb, unable to get out of bed.

In one of his darkest moments, he picked up a bottle of whisky and walked into the Solent, staring out at the water, wanting to disappear. “I think that was my lowest moment,” Iwan said.

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