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Episode 283: How an Olympic Swimmer Transformed Tourette’s Syndrome into Winning Gold

Anthony holds a lot of weird records. But the most interesting to me is the record for the biggest span between winning golds. SIXTEEN YEARS.   

But first, let’s start from the beginning.

Anthony Ervin always had a gift for swimming. He had the talent. He had the coaching. And he had the success from an early age. But there was something else looming. Tourette’s.

I asked him how it happened. “What was the first things you noticed about yourself when you developed Tourette’s?”

“It was debilitating,” he said. “I felt a lot of nervous energy running through the body and that energy needs to find an exit.”

It escaped through his eyes, his jaw, his neck.

“It took a long time cause originally you want to fight this. You want to imprison this energy just to make it stop. But my eventual tactic for it was to take that energy and move it through my entire body. Specifically to move it into my swimming,” Anthony said.  

He used it as a weapon.

He turned a negative into a positive. And it ultimately led to success in swimming.

He first went to the Olympics when he was only nineteen. He won gold. But he wasn’t ready for the mantel of responsibility that came with winning.  

“I quickly fell off the mountain,” Anthony said.   

He battled with depression and addiction. He dropped out of college. He stopped competing. He self-medicated. And he kept this secret inside. He forgot all about his athletic success.  

I really wanted to understand why.

What is the catalyst for a comeback?

In this podcast, Anthony Ervin, 3 time Olympic gold medalist reveals how he did it…  

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