Been given the honour of carrying the South African flag at the Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremony came as a huge surprise to Phumelela Mbande. So began a rollercoaster ride of an Olympic experience for the SA Hockey team vice-captain – one she is still coming to terms with.
An outspoken mental health advocate, Phumelela very courageously talks about the difficulties in coping with the grief and sadness she felt post-Tokyo after a hugely disappointing team performance, and discusses the challenges of the 18 months leading up to the Games.
Phumelela is incredibly accomplished athlete both on and off the sports field (she is a qualified Chartered Accountant) and she also talks about her experiences as a black woman in sport and how she hopes to inspire others through her journey.
This is a raw, honest conversation and one I think many athletes will be able to identify with.