Paralympian David Weir tells of long battle with depression
British Paralympian and London marathon wheelchair race winner David Weir has revealed how his long battle with depression almost kept him from the starting line.
The athlete admitted he has struggled for years with depression, which got worse after he failed to win a medal at last year's Paralympics and fell out with British Athletics.
"After Christmas it was a bad time with depression, but I had a lot of good people around me to help me get through it, and that's why I didn't think I'd get on the start line to be honest," he told ITV News London.
"I didn't have any energy in training so when I crossed that line it was quite an emotional time for me.
"It's important to speak out. I've found that the more I've spoken to people, the better I feel and I used to bottle things up a lot.
"I think I probably had depression for years and didn't realise, and it just exploded and I couldn't cope any more, and once I started talking to people, I started to feel better in myself."
Weir beat defending champion Marcel Hug by a second on Sunday to finish in one hour, 31 minutes and six seconds and clinch a record seventh London marathon title.
The six-time Paralympic gold medallist also won the Paris marathon earlier this month.
Weir, who took part in his 18th consecutive London marathon this year, announced after the Rio Paralympics in September that he would retire following Sunday's race.
His victory means he has beaten Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson's record of six wins in the women's London marathon wheelchair race.
Weir, 37, called British Athletics "a joke" and said he had been "let down" following the Rio Paralympics where he reportedly fell out with Team GB coach Jenni Banks.
He won four gold medals at London 2012.