Get your weekly news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest edition of ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’ This week’s headlines feature the GOAT Michael Phelps, Swedish Olympic gold medalist Sarah Sjostrom and American world record holder Katie Ledecky.
#1 Michael Phelps Joins Medical Tech Company’s Board of Directors
Since retiring from the sport of competitive swimming, Michael Phelps has made a point of making his presence known ‘beyond the lane lines’ on an even bigger scale than when the 31-year-old was earning 23 Olympic gold medals. Already having served as an honorary chairperson on this year’s National Mental Health Awareness Day, Phelps has now been appointed to the board of Medibio, an Australian medical technology company that has developed depression diagnosis testing processes.
Said Phelps this week of his appointment, “I have personally experienced Medibio’s technology and believe it can help make a profound impact in diagnosing mental health and empowering people to seek the help and support they may need,” Phelps said in the company’s news release. “In sports, there is so much focus on the physical aspects of performance, and athletes are analyzed from head to toe. But for many athletes, mental health has not been a topic of focus, and the data analysis aspect of it has been missing up until now.”
Medibio’s CEO commented on Phelps, “His lifelong dedication to excellence in the pool, his advocacy for mental health, and his understanding of data-driven solutions will provide a great addition to our board. Michael’s significant public profile will raise substantial awareness of mental health challenges and the real, tangible solutions that Medibio’s diagnostics can provide.”
#2 Sarah Sjostrom Nabs World Record of a Different Kind
Sure, the Swedish speedster that is Sarah Sjostom holds the current long course meters world records in the 50m and 100m butterfly, but did you also know she recently set a World Record in ‘playtime swimming’? To help promote the Swedish Swimming Federation’s goal of encouraging more to swim, Sjostrom completed 17 specific swimming tasks and earned 17 achievement badges in a rapid time of 16 minutes and 26 seconds.
Completing challenges such as ‘swimming in shallow water for 5 meters’ and ‘jumping or diving in deep water’ in rapid succession, Sjostrom helped the Betsson company donate SEK 100,000 to the Swedish Swimming Federation project.
You can catch a few of Sjostrom’s feats in action here, while learning more about the 17 swimming tasks here.
#3 Katie Ledecky Invites Bryce Harper for a Swim
If you follow world record holder and overall distance dominator Katie Ledecky on social media, you know the Washington, D.C. native is a huge local sports fan. That includes rooting for the Washington Nationals, the MLB team on which slugger Bryce Harper plays. During a game last week, Harper was nailed by a pitch, which resulted in a rush to the mound and all-out brawl. Harper subsequently served a 3-game suspension, but since he was in the California area, Ledecky did offer the ball player a means to pass the time. I wonder how many “Hey, I’m Bryce Harper’s” showed up.
…@Bharper3407, if you end up suspended, come on down to Palo Alto and hang out at the pool for a day!
— Katie Ledecky (@katieledecky) May 30, 2017
#4 Re-think Asking Your Parents to Pick You Up from School
And under the ‘totally random’ column, a dad in Oklahoma surprised his son on the last day of school by picking him up dressed as Michael Phelps. Complete with a brief, cap, goggles and oodles of medals, the dad calls out his son’s name in front of the exiting students and escorts him to the car. Silly, yes, but also viral.