Nile Wilson: Dancing on Ice star reflects on personal challenges after competing in the Olympics in Ted Talk
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The latest series of ITV’s ice skating competition is set to begin with the first live show on Sunday 14 January at 6:30pm.
The former Olympic gymnast, 26, from Leeds, has been partnered with professional skater and fellow Olympian Olivia Smart.
Nile has previously represented Team GB during his seven year career which saw him achieve thirteen medals across various gymnastic specialties.
In 2016, Nile won his first Olympic bronze medal at the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro and has won five gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.
Back in October, the former gymnast gave a TedTalk where he opened up about his experiences being a gymnast and his personal life challenges.
What is Nile Wilson’s Ted Talk about?
Nile Wilson did a 15 minute Ted Talk titled ‘What can make me an Olympic champion can also kill me’, where he shared with the audience his experiences of being a former TeamGB gymnast.
He told the audience: “I’d like to take you back a little bit, tell a little bit of my story and maybe some of the inputs, the dynamics, the influences, the environment of my life that maybe led to the success, the derailment and eventually my retirement.”
The former gymnast used his time to talk to the audience about his obsessive nature, his competitive side and his ability to take risks.
Nile shared his experiences with an eating disorder that helped him lose weight as a 14-year-old and the negative experiences with his eating.
During his TedTalk, Nile talked about “discovering” alcohol and gambling that with his obsessive nature gave him a release from the pressure of his career.
How did Nile Wilson introduce himself during his Ted Talk?
Nile Wilson started his Ted Talk with an introduction and re-introduction to himself that he told the audience made his mum cry.
He began his talk by saying: “I am an ex-artistic gymnast. By the age of 20, I became an Olympic and world medalist, multiple european and Commonwealth champion.
“I was also responsible for one of the UK’s fastest growing YouTube channels, which reached 1.5 million subscribers and 350 million views worldwide.”
After further introduction, Nile stopped his talk where he told his audience: “Sorry, I actually just want to restart that. I missed a couple of important things out.
He continued: “I suffer badly from depression. I broke my neck doing the sport that I loved. I’m self destructive. Competing at the highest level of sport, I spent four to five nights in the casino alone.
“Once I drink alcohol, I struggle to stop for days, even weeks at a time. I’ve been unfaithful to previous girlfriends. I smoked cigarettes. I struggled to eat and sleep and I’m currently serving a 12 month driving ban and I often feel lost in life after retirement.”
What did Nile Wilson say about his gambling addiction?
Nile Wilson admitted to discovering gambling at 18-years-old, describing his job as a “pressure cooker” and the gambling and drinking as a release.
The former Team GB gymnast said: “Gambling was a tough one for me. I think gambling is a silent killer for athletes because there’s no physiological effects of the consequence of gambling.”
Nile shared how his binge eating and nights out drinking would affect his performance, adding: “I could spend five hours in the casino spinning the roulette wheel and besides the horrific guilt and shame the next day, for the most part I could perform to the best of my ability.”
What did Nile Wilson say about his Olympic experience?
Nile Wilson began the part of his Ted Talk on his Olympic experience by telling the audience: “The Olympics is an event that someone like me and tens of thousands of others dream of their entire life. Their whole life dedicated to this moment”
The former Olympic gymnast was the first person from Great Britain to win a bronze medal for the Horizontal Bar at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Nile told the audience that “nothing could prepare you for what follows” as he explained how it feels to compete at the event.
He shared how Michael Phelps talks a lot about “Olympic comedown” and Nile shared his experiences with adjusting back to normal life just days after coming home from the Rio Olympics.
Nile shared that for “12 weeks straight” following the games that “all I did was partied, chased women and gambled.”
The bronze medal athlete also said: “I can categorically tell every single person in this room that that shiny object, sat at home on my mantlepiece collecting dust, when I look at it today it gives me absolutely zero emotion whatsoever.”