This week, the United Brain Association is hugging retired American swimmer, Michael Phelps.  He is the most decorated Olympian of all time, with 28 medals to his name, 23 of them gold. Rather than use his ADHD as a crutch, Michael has credited it as being one of the sources of his success and drive to win.

After a rather bumpy childhood where he found himself teased and getting into mischief, he turned his trouble focusing into athletic triumph. Michael was diagnosed with ADHD in sixth grade, and though he couldn’t sit through class without fidgeting, he could swim for up to three hours at the pool. Through practice and dedication, the pool became Michael’s home.

“Once I figured out how to swim, I felt so free. I could go fast in the pool, it turned out, in part because being in the pool slowed down my mind. In the water, I felt, for the first time, in control.”

By age 10, Phelps was nationally ranked, and in 2000 at age 15, made his Olympic debut.  He has medaled at every summer Olympic games since.

Now retired from swimming, Michael is using his platform and influence to introduce swimming to thousands of children nationwide.  Through the Michael Phelps Foundation, he hopes the pool can be “that place” for kids with ADHD and learning issues.

*Content published by the United Brain Association (UBA), such as text, graphics, reports, images, and other materials created by UBA and other materials contained on unitedbrainassociation.org are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the unitedbrainassociation.org.

Share This Article

You Are Not Alone

For you or a loved one to be diagnosed with a brain disease or disorder, is overwhelming, and leads to a quest for support and answers to important questions. UBA has built a safe, caring and compassionate community for you to share your journey, connect with others in similar situations, learn about breakthroughs, and to simply find comfort.

united brain association

Make a Donation, Make a Difference

We have a direct connection with scientists so we are privy to projects in all stages of research. This gives us the insight to identify projects and allocate the dollars needed to find cures. Donate generously today to make a difference for future generations and your loved ones.  Your donation saves lives and brings us closer to a cure.

Donate to the Cure

Share Your Story

If you have an experience, a story, or someone in your life you want to recognize for their strength and willpower, please share it with us. We want to hear from you because listening is part of healing.

Share Your Story

Connect With Us

Receive news on Brain Awareness, the Latest Research, and Personal Stories

SIGN ME UP