U.S. Ski Team athlete and 2018 Olympian Alice Merryweather announced that she will not be on the start list at the upcoming races. Merryweather, 25, said Wednesday she has been struggling with an eating disorder. She has removed herself from the sport to focus on her health and happiness while pursuing intensive treatment.
Merryweather sat out the first races of the season at Copper Mountain. She has since been quiet on social media until making a formal statement on Instagram, which explained her absence.
“Over the past few months, I have been struggling with an eating disorder,” wrote Merryweather. “It has beaten me down, broken my heart, drained me, and quite nearly destroyed my passion for the sport I love so dearly. Luckily, I am surrounded by some of the best people in the world who helped me come to terms with my disorder and encouraged me to seek help.”
Merryweather was diagnosed with a restrictive eating disorder a few weeks ago and has recently experienced some of the more severe effects of the disorder. Two months ago while training in Saas Fee, Merryweather felt like she was pulling away from the sport, her teammates, and coaches. She was losing joy in nearly everything she did. Since hitting that low in September, she has not made significant amounts of progress to confidently and safely return to a start gate.
“I want to encourage anyone who is struggling with their mental health or an eating disorder to reach out and remind you that you’re not alone,” wrote Merryweather.
Merryweather has made an important first step in dealing with her eating disorder by seeking intensive treatment with plans to come back strong, healthy, and happy to the sport. She did not announce a definite time frame for a return to ski racing, but hopes to be back for the second half of the season.
“Ski racing will be there when I’m ready, and I’m optimistic that I’ll be ready again soon,” she said.
For those in need of support for an eating disorder, you can contact National Eating Disorder’s free, confidential helpline here.
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