Simone Biles – 24 – Gymnastics – ADHD  

Simone Arianne Biles (born March 14, 1997) is an American artistic gymnast.  With a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, Biles is the most decorated American gymnast and the world’s third most decorated gymnast. 

Check out this article about Simone here.

Carissa Moore surfing on waves

Carissa Moore – 28 – Surfer – Eating Disorder 

Carissa Kainani Moore (born August 27, 1992) is an American professional surfer and the 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2019 WSL Women’s World Tour Champion.

In 2013, she was named by Glamour magazine as one of their Women of the Year. She became a member of the Surfers’ Hall of Fame in 2014.

Check out this article about Carissa here.

Francois Imbeau-Dulac performing a twisting dive

François Imbeau-Dulac – 30 – Diver – Eating Disorder

François Imbeau-Dulac (born 9 December 1990) is a Canadian diver.

He began diving at the age of 9, and began competing internationally in 2006. In 2011 Imbeau-Dulac broke the Canadian record in the 1m springboard event. He competed in the 3 m springboard event at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He placed 13th, just short of making the final.

Check out this article about François here

Raven Saunders throwing shot put for Ole Miss

Raven Saunders – 25 – Shot Put – Depression

Raven Saunders is an American track and field athlete who competes in the shot put and discus throw.  She won three NCAA collegiate titles in the shot put for the University of Mississippi. She was a world junior medalist in 2014 and the Pan American junior champion in 2015.  She holds a personal record of 19.33 m (63 ft 5 in) for the shot put.   

Check out this article about Raven here.  

Allison Schmitt an Olympic swimmer mid stroke in the pool shown from an underwater angle.

Allison Schmitt – 31 – Swimming – Depression

Allison Rodgers Schmitt is an American competition swimmer who specializes in freestyle events, and is an eight-time Olympic medalist.  In her Olympic debut at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Schmitt won a bronze medal as a member of the 4×200-meter freestyle relay. 

Check out this article about Allison here.


Dual Athletes

This sections highlights a few athletes who have competed in both the Olympics and the Paralympics.

(Check out the Paralympics and Beyond page here)

Marla Runyan (USA) – 52 – Middle Distance Runner 

Visually Impaired

Natalia Partyka (POL) – 31 – Table Tennis  

Born without right hand and forearm

Natalie du Toit (RSA) – 37 – Swimming 

Above the knee amputee

Assunta Legnante (ITA) – 43 – Shot put 

Visually impaired

Pál Szekeres (HUN) – 56 – Fencing 

Wheelchair user

Ilke Wyludda (GER) – 52 – Discus/Shot put 

Right leg amputee

Olympians Throughout History

Quick Background About the Olympics

On April 6, 1896, the Olympic Games, a long-lost tradition of ancient Greece, are reborn in Athens 1,500 years after being banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I. At the opening of the Athens Games, King Georgios I of Greece and a crowd of 60,000 spectators welcomed athletes from 13 nations to the international competition.

The first recorded Olympic Games were held at Olympia in the Greek city-state of Elis in 776 B.C., but it is generally accepted that the Olympics were at least 500 years old at that time. The ancient Olympics, held every four years, occurred during a religious festival honoring the Greek god Zeus.

George Eyser and another individual competing in rope climb

George Eyser (USA) -1904 – Gymnastics

American gymnast George Eyser, who had a wooden leg, competed at the 1904 Summer Olympics, and won three gold medals, two silver, and a bronze.

Check out a Podcast about George here.

Picture of Oliver Halassy a water polo Olympic athlete

Oliver Halassy (HUN) – 1928-1936 – Water Polo

Oliver Halassy of Hungary, whose left leg was amputated below the knee, won three medals (two gold and a silver) in water polo in the Olympic Games of 1928, 1932, and 1936.

Learn more about Oliver here.

Karoly Takacs Olympic medal ceremony

Karoly Takacs (HUN) – 1948 – Shooting

Karoly Takacs, also from Hungary, won gold in shooting at the 1948 Summer Olympics.  His right hand had been destroyed by a hand grenade ten years earlier, and he had taught himself to shoot with his left.

Learn more about Karoly here

Lis Hartel on her horse

Lis Hartel (DEN) – 1952 – Equestrian Dressage

Lis Hartel was one of the first women allowed to compete against men in the equestrian dressage. Despite being paralysed below the knees after contracting polio in 1944, when she was 23, Hartel was chosen to represent Denmark in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki.  She responded by earning the silver medal.   

Learn more about Lis here.

Harold Connolly doing the hammer throw

Harold Connolly (USA) – 1956-1968 – Hammer Throw

Harold Connolly was an Olympic hammer throwing gold medalist at the Melbourne Olympic Games of 1956. A fact made remarkable by the fact that he had Erb’s Palsy, which meant that his left arm was some 4.5 inches shorter than his right arm, far less muscularly developed and his left hand was two-thirds the size of his right hand.

Learn more about Harold here.

Im Dong-Hyun, an archer, preparing to take a shot.

Im Dong-Hyun (KOR) – 2004-2012 – Archery

South Korean archer Im Dong-Hyun has 20/200 vision in his left eye and 20/100 vision in his right eye, meaning he is legally blind in his left eye.  He won Olympic gold in the team competition in 2004 and 2008, and bronze in 2012.

Learn more about Im here