Story at a glance

  • WNBA star Liz Cambage will not compete in Tokyo after withdrawing from the Australian Olympic team due to mental health concerns.
  • The Las Vegas Aces all-star detailed her reasons on Instagram and Twitter, saying that she has “been really worried about heading into a 'bubble' Olympics.”
  • "I know myself, and I know I can't be the Liz everyone deserves to see compete for the Opals."

WNBA star Liz Cambage will not compete in Tokyo after withdrawing from the Australian Olympic team due to mental health concerns. 

The Las Vegas Aces all-star detailed her reasons on Instagram and Twitter, saying that she has “been really worried about heading into a 'bubble' Olympics.” 

"No family. No friends. No fans. No support system outside of my team," Cambage wrote. "It's honestly terrifying for me. The past month I've been having panic attacks, not sleeping and not eating."

"Relying on daily medication to control my anxiety is not the place I want to be right now. Especially walking into competition on the world's biggest sporting stage," Cambage continued. 

"I know myself, and I know I can't be the Liz everyone deserves to see compete for the Opals. Not right now at least. I need to take care of myself mentally and physically."


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Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman said in a statement the Australian Olympic committee respects Cambage’s decision to withdraw and "wishes her the best in returning to full health."

"Our focus now moves to working with the Opals so they can achieve the goals they have set for themselves in Tokyo. We know they are totally committed to achieving success in Tokyo and they will still bring an incredibly strong team to this campaign," Chesterman concluded.

Sources told ESPN that Cambage was involved in a physical exchange during a closed warm-up game against Nigeria. She has also reportedly broken team protocols by going out in Las Vegas. 


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Cambage previously threatened to boycott the Tokyo Games after photos of the Australian Olympic team appeared to lack diversity. 

"I've said it once I've said it a million times," Cambage reportedly wrote on Instagram. "HOW AM I MEANT TO REPRESENT A COUNTRY THAT DOESNT EVEN REPRESENT ME."

"Until I see y'all doin more @ausolympicteam imma sit this one out,” Cambage concluded in a separate post. 

The 29-year-old forward averaged 14.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in the 2020-21 WNBA season.


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Published on Jul 16, 2021