Michael Phelps was recently honored for the work he has done to call attention to the field of mental health when he was presented with the Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion, and the 23-time gold medalist has continued to share his own experiences to raise awareness.
Phelps has partnered with an app called Talkspace, which gives users access to help from licensed therapists. On Sunday, he sent some tweets talking about what led him to seek help.
Did you know that one in four people around the world experience a mental health issue? I was one of them. That’s why I’ve teamed up with @Talkspace this #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth –– to let you know that getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) May 26, 2019
I struggled with anxiety and depression and questioned whether or not I wanted to be alive anymore. It was when I hit this low that I decided to reach out and ask for the help of a licensed therapist. This decision ultimately helped save my life. You don’t have to wait for things
— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) May 26, 2019
Phelps has also dedicated much of his work with the Michael Phelps Foundation to educating people on the importance of mental health treatment and overcoming the stigmas associated with it.
We have seen more and more prominent athletes open up about their mental health issues in recent years, with Kevin Love launching a similar fund to the one Phelps has and former NFL wide receiver Steve Smith speaking publicly about his battle with depression. There are few athletes in the world who are more recognizable than Phelps, which is why he’s being applauded for his efforts.
- Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps and his wife Nicole welcomed their second son into the world back in February, and it may be time to upgrade their residence now that they have multiple children. That is, if anyone ever really needs an upgrade from 6,000 square feet.
As Catherine Reagor of The Arizona Republic discovered, Phelps recently put his home in Paradise Valley on the market for $4.125 million. The 23-time Olympic gold medalist purchased the home for $2.53 million in 2015. The house is 6,010 square feet and has six bedrooms, six-plus bathrooms, four fireplaces, a 350-bottle wine room, a sports room and a massive swimming pool (obviously).
Reagor notes that Phelps bought the house after he was named the Arizona State assistant swim coach in, and it’s unclear why he has decided to sell. If the hot Arizona sun was responsible for the awesome tan Phelps was rocking at the NCAA championship game last year, he’ll probably be sticking around the area.
- Michael Phelps
The Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off one of their greatest victories in franchise history on Sunday and were fittingly met by an Olympic great afterwards.
The Cavs defeated the Boston Celtics on the road in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and after the game, skier Lindsey Vonn was among those waiting for them outside the locker room, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
Lindsey Vonn is among the many guests waiting for the Cavs outside their locker room.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 28, 2018
Vonn, who is coming off a bronze medal victory last February in the women’s downhill competition at the PyeongChang Games, also posted some videos from the stands to her Instagram Story during the game.
The Cavs are apparently a rather popular team, as the 33-year-old skiing legend is just the latest big-name athlete to rub elbows with them.
Chloe Kim has gone from relatively unknown snowboarder a little over a month ago to having her own Barbie doll.
Kim was one of 17 modern day or historical women who have been honored by Barbie with their own doll made ahead of International Women’s Day. The goal was to make dolls for women who “have broken boundaries in their fields and have been an inspiration to the next generation of girls.”
In addition to Kim, who won a gold medal in the women’s halfpipe at the Olympics, other athletes were honored too. The list includes golfer Lorena Ochoa, soccer player Sara Gama, boxer Nicola Adams, and volleyball player Hui Ruoqi.
Kim does not turn 18 until April, so to have a Barbie doll made after her at the age of 17 is one heck of an accomplishment, not to mention very deserving — she was one of the breakout stars of the Olympics for very good reason.
- Chloe Kim
Pita Taufatofua has become one of the most recognizable Olympic figures over the past two years after he served as Tonga’s flag bearer in Rio and PyeongChang, and he may have plans to cash in on that in the near future.
Taufatofua was stopped by a TMZ cameraman at LAX this week, and he was asked if he has any plans to do modeling shoots now that the Olympics have concluded. The 34-year-old did not rule it out.
“You never know. I’m here in L.A. You never know what’s gonna happen,” he said. “Stay tuned. We’ve got a few things lined up, so we’re just gonna see what eventuates.”
Taufatofua, who is a native of Australia, added that making money is not as important to him as representing a company with good morals.
“I’m about brands that actually help people and help people feel good,” he said. “The clothing that they wear makes them feel good — corporate responsibility and social responsibility. I want a responsible brand that helps people. It’s not interesting for me unless other people are being lifted up.”
If you saw what Taufatofua was able to accomplish in skiing at the Winter Olympics, you know he can pretty much do anything he sets his mind to. Given all the attention he got for going shirtless and oiled up during two opening ceremonies, it’s probably safe to assume plenty of companies would want him as an endorser.
Many Olympians did more than just compete for medals at the Winter Games in PyeongChang this year, and U.S. skier Gus Kenworthy and snowboarder Maddie Mastro are traveling home with new pets after they took a stand against animal cruelty.
Over the weekend, Kenworthy and his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas took a trip to a South Korean dog farm where dogs are raised to be slaughtered and sold for meat. In a lengthy Instagram post, Kentworthy wrote about how the dogs are living in “some of the most deplorable conditions imaginable.”
This morning Matt and I had a heart-wrenching visit to one of the 17,000 dog farms here in South Korea. Across the country there are 2.5 million dogs being raised for food in some of the most disturbing conditions imaginable. Yes, there is an argument to be made that eating dogs is a part of Korean culture. And, while don't personally agree with it, I do agree that it's not my place to impose western ideals on the people here. The way these animals are being treated, however, is completely inhumane and culture should never be a scapegoat for cruelty. I was told that the dogs on this particular farm were kept in "good conditions" by comparison to other farms. The dogs here are malnourished and physically abused, crammed into tiny wire-floored pens, and exposed to the freezing winter elements and scorching summer conditions. When it comes time to put one down it is done so in front of the other dogs by means of electrocution sometimes taking up to 20 agonizing minutes. Despite the beliefs of some, these dogs are no different from the ones we call pets back home. Some of them were even pets at one time and were stolen or found and sold into the dog meat trade. Luckily, this particular farm (thanks to the hard work of the Humane Society International and the cooperation of a farmer who's seen the error of his ways) is being permanently shut down and all 90 of the dogs here will be brought to the US and Canada where they'll find their fur-ever homes. I adopted the sweet baby in the first pic (we named her Beemo) and she'll be coming to the US to live with me as soon as she's through with her vaccinations in a short couple of weeks. I cannot wait to give her the best life possible! There are still millions of dogs here in need of help though (like the Great Pyrenees in the 2nd pic who was truly the sweetest dog ever). I'm hoping to use this visit as an opportunity to raise awareness to the inhumanity of the dog meat trade and the plight of dogs everywhere, including back home in the US where millions of dogs are in need of loving homes! Go to @hsiglobal's page to see how you can help. #dogsarefriendsnotfood #adoptdontshop ❤️????
A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on
“Yes, there is an argument to be made that eating dogs is a part of Korean culture. And, while don’t personally agree with it, I do agree that it’s not my place to impose western ideals on the people here,” Kenworthy wrote. “The way these animals are being treated, however, is completely inhumane and culture should never be a scapegoat for cruelty. … The dogs here are malnourished and physically abused, crammed into tiny wire-floored pens, and exposed to the freezing winter elements and scorching summer conditions. When it comes time to put one down it is done so in front of the other dogs by means of electrocution sometimes taking up to 20 agonizing minutes.”
As you can see from the photo, Kenworthy and Wilkas ended up adopting one of the dogs. They also helped to get the farm shut down with help from the Humane Society International, and all 90 of the dogs that were living at the farm are being sent to the U.S. and Canada. Mastro is also returning home with a new friend, though she told TMZ she already has three rescue dogs and will need to find a home for the dog she saved.
I got me a flight buddy! ✈️ I’m flying home with this doggo so she can get a better chance at having a loving/caring family ???? I’m happy to have the opportunity to be apart of helping these dogs, even if it’s just one. I also encourage others to get involved to help save these doggos lives. Just look at that face, how can you say no! #savekoreandogs
A post shared by Maddie Mastro (@maddie_mastro) on
Kenworthy, who showed off his great sense of humor during the Olympics this month, is obviously passionate about animals. Neither he nor Mastro won a medal in PyeongChang, but they have to be feeling pretty good about what they accomplished.
U.S. figure skater Mirai Nagasu apologized for a set of comments she made after her singles event that apparently came off the wrong way.
Nagasu credited herself, saying she “saved” the U.S. in the team event to win a bronze medal, while adding that she treated her free skate as an audition for Dancing With the Stars. Many were unimpressed with this conduct, viewing her as discrediting her teammates, making excuses for a 10th place finish, and showing a lack of focus in a major Olympic event.
On Saturday, a tearful Nagasu apologized for her remarks.
“I feel really, really awful about the things I said,” Nagasu told Adam Carlson of People on Saturday. “I feel bad that people think that I was throwing my teammates under the bus because I never wanted to come off that way.
“I had my dream Olympic skate [in the team event] and to me, I’ve been dreaming of that moment for such a long time, it made me feel like a superhero and superheroes save the day. And I wish I had said that we were all superheroes during the team event,” Nagasu added. “To watch Chris and Alexa [Knierim, pair skaters], I train with them, to see the way they competed, to see Bradie put out a great performance, and Nathan [Chen] and Adam [Rippon] and [ice dancers] Maia and Alex [Shibutani] — everyone did their part, and so I didn’t mean to say that I saved the team by myself. We were all heroes that day and I apologize, especially to my teammates, for how it came off.”
Nagasu said her Dancing reference was based on a trick suggested by a sports psychologist, who encouraged her to use a different motivator than she did in the team event.
“I used that as a distraction and I probably should have kept it to myself. … It didn’t come out the way I wanted it to,” Nagasu said.
The skater added that she also apologized to Canadian skater Gabrielle Daleman, who Nagasu singled out as another successful skater who did not have a good free skate.
“What people didn’t see is that I hugged her right before I made that comment because I really related to her and I was like, ‘You know, you’re an Olympic gold medalist regardless of how you skated today,'” Nagasu said. “I just truly related to her in that moment and we both had disappointing free skates, and I just shouldn’t have brought her into it to be honest.”
Nagasu was an early favorite in the Olympics on account of her nailing a triple axel during the team performance, but she threatened a lot of that goodwill with these comments. It’s good that she apologized.