Olympic boxer Ginny Fuchs faces her toughest fight against obsessive-compulsive disorder

Ginny Fuchs is used to fighting difficult battles as one of the best flyweight boxers in the world. She is calm and focused when in the ring, but the 2021 Olympian’s most challenging fight comes from within her own mind.

Fuchs was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in eighth grade, and she said her symptoms have progressively worsened as she has gotten older. Fuchs’ OCD manifests as a fear of contamination: If she feels that something is contaminated or unclean, she excessively cleans it until the feeling is satisfied. 

“If I’m washing my hands, I might be at the sink for 30 minutes, and I might have to use two different soaps because my brain is telling me, ‘That’s not good enough. It’s not clean enough,’” Fuchs told USA TODAY Sports. “I can go through bottles of soap, bottles of shower gel. When I take a shower, I use multiple washcloths and sponges. Once my mind says something is contaminated, it’s very hard for me to feel like it’s all right.”