COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- She became an Olympic swimmer at age 14.
She’s even an author of a New York Time’s Best seller. Olympic swimmer, Amanda Beard visits the campus of Mississippi University for Women to discuss her career and obstacles she has overcome.
For Amanda Beard, swimming has been a part of life since she was four years old.
However, thee was one moment that Beard decided to turn the sport into her career.
“I was ten years old and I was watching the 1992 Olympics on TV and I remember this swimmer named Summer Sanders and I just fell in love with everything about it,” says Beard.
By the age of 14, Amanda was competing in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. She was the second youngest competitor. She took home three medals that year.
But with victory, came defeat. She had to overcome an eating disorder, drug and alcohol abuse and toxic relationships.
Amanda says the water restored her clarity.
“I didn’t have to talk to anybody I could get all the stress of my life and everything that was going on around me kind of let it all out in that water and so for me it became my outlet,” says Beard.
With help from friends, family and swimming, she endured.
“It’s almost contagious and when you start doing a little less negative in your life and adding more positive it changes things around and it really helped me in my swimming career and has trickled down into my personal life as well,” says Beard.
Despite the seven Olympic Medals that hang from her wall, Amanda says her biggest accomplishments still wear diapers.
Beard is set to compete in the 2016 Olympic Trials.