Spain's most decorated Paralympian, Teresa Perales, is returning to her home country within the next few days after suffering an anxiety attack in Tokyo, according to the Spanish Paralympic Committee. The swimmer with 27 Paralympic medals to her name has been hospitalized since last Sunday and will immediately visit a Spanish hospital upon her return.
The 2020 Tokyo Paralympics saw Perales, 45, add to her Spanish-record medal total as she won silver in the 50-meter backstroke. In June, Spain honored Perales' illustrious athletic career by giving her the Prince of Asturias award.
Neuropathy made Perales lose the use of her legs at 19. Perales, a former karate fighter, then transitioned into a swimming career.
Perales is not the first Paralympic swimmer to suffer from mental-health issues during or after their competition. Jessica Long dealt with an eating disorder during the 2016 Rio Games, and Becca Meyers -- who's deaf-blind -- said she became "frustrated" and "terrified" after failing to find the dining hall in those same Games.
In the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles withdrew from four finals after suffering from the "twisties," a yips-like condition in which gymnasts lose their focus mid-jump.
Paralympians and Olympians expend significant physical effort during their competitions, and it's difficult to ignore the mental toll that comes along with it in cases like Perales'.