home
RSS
April 5th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Olympic swimmer discusses personal struggles

Editor's note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard, who first competed at the age of 14 in Atlanta in 1996, shares her struggles with bulimia, drug and alcohol abuse, and self-harm.

Looking back, I think my life story is very real. I have struggled with many issues, including depression, self-confidence and self-infliction that a lot of others can relate to.

Yes, I’ve won seven Olympic medals and have grown up pretty much my whole life in the public eye modeling for magazines and interviewing for newspapers, but deep down, despite the glamour and glitz on the outside, I was a regular girl struggling with my inner demons. 

If you read my story - and you can in my book “In the Water They Can’t See Me Cry” -  I want you to be inspired, be confident in your own skin and imperfections, and know that there are always loved ones around to help. 

Success, whether it’s at the Olympic games, at work or in the gym, starts with your inner strength. If you don’t have that, you don’t have anything.

Despite my ups and downs, I’m still extremely proud of where I’ve been and what I’ve accomplished. Over my four Olympic Games, I’ve won two gold medals, four silver medals and one bronze. I have met amazing people, including my coaches and fellow swimmers, and am very thankful and honored to have represented my country in those Olympic Games.

Above all though, the proudest moment of my life [beyond the Olympic medals] was giving birth to my amazing son, Blaise. 

Before Blaise, life was a blur of swimming pools and airports, red carpets and flashy headlines. I was always concerned about the clock!  

Now, my focus is on my son. After swim practice in the morning, I rush home to be with Blaise and my family. Parenthood has transformed my life - it has made me a better person.  I have a much better perspective on what truly is important in life, which has helped me in and out of the pool.

My biggest regret? Everyone asks.  I don’t have many! But I will say I was given an incredibly unique and wonderful gift of swimming, and for that I do wish I would have savored the moments and places it has taken me the last 20 years - specifically the 1996 Olympic Games. 

I am very lucky to have had such a successful career and I hope that I can be a role model to younger swimmers dreaming of making the Olympic Games too.


soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Cameron Flair

    I don't know about you people but I love airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/07/virgin-america-flies-to-canada-eyes-mexico/

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/airlinereporter/2010/01/21/get-vip-tickets-to-watch-the-boeing-747-8-first-flight/

    May 18, 2021 at 04:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Leopoldo Perrucci

    I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/02/clean-up-after-yourself-your-mother-doesnt-live-here/

    http://www.pseconline.org/pipermail/reps_pseconline.org/2013-October/000980.html

    May 19, 2021 at 06:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Miles Fronick

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2005/04/open-access-journals-heres-useful-list.html

    May 20, 2021 at 05:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Efren Gale

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2005/10/blog-fuel.html

    May 21, 2021 at 03:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Destiny Stockhoff

    I don't know about you people but I infatuated with airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/04/the-canjet-hostage-situation-is-luckily-over/

    http://www.hotfrog.com/search/mountlake-terrace2Cwa/freight

    May 22, 2021 at 03:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Robena Mientka

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

    http://adolit.blogspot.com/2013/01/2012-year-in-photos_1.html

    May 23, 2021 at 05:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Connie Mcelhinny

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://thisteachinglife.blogspot.com/2004_04_01_archive.html

    May 28, 2021 at 06:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jonathon Northwood

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs

    http://digitalnarratives.blogspot.com/2007_03_01_archive.html

    May 29, 2021 at 06:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Anton Quine

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2010/05/immersion-and-ambiguity.html?m=0

    May 30, 2021 at 07:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Stanley Soleman

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2013/03/paperless.html

    May 31, 2021 at 06:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Leopoldo Vala

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2005/01/haircut-sir-this-made-me-chuckle-and.html?showComment=1105735080000&m=0

    June 3, 2021 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Leisha Borchard

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 4, 2021 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Magdalen Deffenbaugh

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 5, 2021 at 03:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Garret Daise

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 7, 2021 at 06:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Milan Graffeo

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 10, 2021 at 07:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Deandrea Cabanillas

    I don't know about you all but I am obsessed with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/06/faa-not-completing-needed-inspections/

    http://www.hotfrog.com/search/mountlake-terrace2Cwa/freight

    June 13, 2021 at 05:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Antone Haber

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2014/09/latest-book-in-our-series-learning.html?showComment=1498053256592

    June 21, 2021 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Alene Kruppa

    Will computer engineers in the philippines be able to have a licensure exam?

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/kmkowalsky/

    June 25, 2021 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.