Maria Huntington Embraces Change: Moving On From Top Sports with a Seventh-Place Finish

A Finnish decathlete who finished seventh at the 2022 World Athletics Championships. In an Instagram post, Huntington revealed that she is “tired of top sports” and will be stepping away from competition.

Huntington, who is 26 years old, said that she has been feeling burned out for some time. She cited the “pressure” of competing at the highest level, as well as the “lack of freedom” that comes with being a professional athlete.

“I’ve been feeling burned out for a long time,” Huntington wrote in her post. “I’ve been feeling the pressure to perform at the top level, and I’ve been feeling like I don’t have any freedom. I’ve been feeling like I’m not in control of my own life.”

Huntington’s decision to step away from competition is a significant one. She is one of Finland’s top track and field athletes, and she had been considered a medal contender at the 2024 Summer Olympics.

However, Huntington said that she is making the decision for her own well-being. “I need to take a step back and focus on my own health and happiness,” she wrote. “I need to find a way to be happy again.”

Huntington’s post has been met with a wave of support from fans and fellow athletes. Many people have praised her for her honesty and courage in speaking out about her burnout.

“I’m so proud of you for putting your mental health first,” one fan wrote. “You’re an inspiration to us all.”

“It takes a lot of strength to admit when you’re struggling,” another fan wrote. “I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself.”

Huntington’s decision to step away from competition is a reminder that even the best athletes are not immune to burnout. It is important for athletes to listen to their bodies and take care of their mental health.

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