This story originally appeared on LX.com
On the NBCLX podcast, My New Favorite Olympian, we're giving listeners the behind-the-scenes stories of a select group of men and women striving to reach the pinnacle of athletic competition... the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. They shared their struggles with cancer, body image and the heartbreak of coming up just short of reaching their dream. You can find their stories here, or subscribe to the podcast and don't miss an episode.
Nathan Adrian, a three-time Olympian (2008, 2012, 2016); and eight-time Olympic medalist (5 golds, 1 silver, 2 bronze) was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2019. It was a diagnosis that rocked him back on his heels and threatened not only his Olympic aspirations but also his life. Adrian revealed how that shocking revelation changed him. As Adrian said, "Basically, once that [diagnosis] happens, just everything else stops mattering."
For Nathan's story, click here or listen below:
You might think saying Gabby Thomas is both a Harvard University graduate and a track star would sum up her life story. You'd be wrong. In fact, that barely scratches the surface. The future epidemiologist plans to make an impact that lasts far, far longer than the time it takes to capture Olympic glory.
For Gabby's story, click here or listen below:
Not that anyone is keeping score, but chances are that Caroline Marks has checked off more on the life achievement list by age 19 than you did. At 15, she became the youngest person to qualify for the World Surf League’s Championship Tour. At 17, she became the first female surfer to receive equal prize money as her male counterpart. At 18, she booked a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
But for Marks, those lofty accomplishments have just given her a greater platform to talk about a cause near to her heart... advocating for body positivity.
For Caroline's story, click here or listen below:
Some think discussing a woman's menstrual cycle is taboo. But volleyball star Alix Klineman is intent on changing that.
Klineman reveals her struggles with birth control, hormones and cystic acne, and how those have impacted her performance. She also shared her eureka moment when she discovered she could use nutrition to help her with her menstrual cycle and performance.
For Alix's story, click here or listen below:
What happens when you pour your heart and soul into an endeavor like being selected for the Olympic Games, only to come up short? Few of us will ever know the pain of that situation, but it was the reality for Kareem Maddox, who trained vigorously for the Olympic 3x3 men's basketball tournament only to find up in the months leading up to the Games that he didn't make the cut. Maddox shares his next steps and if he still plans to pursue his Olympic dreams.
For Kareem's story, click here or listen below: