Missy Franklin Battles Back From Depression: GMM presented by SwimOutlet.com

Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.com

Five-time Olympic gold medalist, Missy Franklin, struggled through 2016. That was the opening of her message to 75 young women at the LEAD Sports Summit in Austin, Texas, an event designed to empower female athletes in academics, sport and life.

Kara Lynn Joyce, Madisyn Cox, Elizabeth Beisel, Missy Franklin, and Eva Fabian at LEAD Sports Summit

Franklin hide the battle from the media during the Olympic year, suffering through it with her familiar smile.  Franklin explained that two months before the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials she was diagnosed with depression, insomnia, anxiety and an eating disorder.  Franklin was hitting a low when the world and swim fans expected her to rise up.  Despite the challenges, she performed, winning another gold medal, and stepping up as leader and mentor on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. Still, her personal problems remained, further exacerbated by shoulder problems that required surgery. After a break from the pool this past summer, Missy’s back, training with the Cal Golden Bears men’s team under coach Dave Durden.   See the video above and learn more about Franklin’s journey and what she’s learned in the process.

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This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.

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78 Comments on "Missy Franklin Battles Back From Depression: GMM presented by SwimOutlet.com"

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Thank you, Missy!

You may not know it but by talking openly about your struggles with mental health, you have almost certainly saved someone’s life. And I’m not exaggerating. Those that suffer need to know that they’re not broken, they’re not alone and that they can get better and that’s what you did.

I was always impressed by your performances in the pool. Today, I’m even more impressed with your character as a person.

God bless her. Whether she is ever world class again is immaterial. It sounds like she has her life back, and that matters more than anything.

Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

She’s so fake. I always know she was really depressed

A former swimmer\'s mom

I don’t think she’s fake, I just think she’s trying to positively get through swimming and life. Some look at the glass half-full, and others look at it half-empty. So much of your attitude effects your life. Keep being positive but stay authentic and realistic. My best to you Missy:)

harsh statement but yes in retrospect it appears she was masking things. Good for her for getting treatment


I struggled with depression all through middle school and i’ve been in hospitals for self harm and when i was depressed i would seem happy to all of the people who didn’t know me, but at the same time my arm would be bleeding so people knew something was wrong with me, i honestly hope missy gets better and doesn’t resolve to self harm like i did. and missy if your reading this i’m rooting for you!! Go to your closest friends and family for support!!!

northern light

As someone who has suffered from depression, it is very common to deny the depression. She may or may not have been fully aware off how depressed she was. The is a lot of pressure to maintain “a positive attitude”, which does not really help matters. Certainly I would never call her keeping up a good front a “fake”.

Phelps swims in 2032

I honestly couldn’t stand her post race interviews… they where way too perky

Steve Nolan

I’m pretty sure I criticized her at one point for still being so bubbly, even when her performances started to slip. I wanted her to be angry! or something, like that would somehow make her results different?

I hope I don’t do that again. It was sh*tty and I regret it.

Not directed at anyone in particular, but people did get most tweaked by Missy’s ‘everything is great’ shell & we know a lot more now. One positive for Missy is despite all that the sport of swimming has so many great people she will always be able to rely on & count on. Are there better people anywhere in the world than John Urbanchek, Eddie Reese? That’s just 2 names & is not meant to exclude so many more. I hope that can help make a real difference for Missy. Depression isn’t something that goes away with a prescription for an infection or a cast on a bone, it’s a seriously vexing thing. I think it is also notable from… Read more »

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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