Five inspirational stories from the Olympics to get 2019 started

Learn how to handle the highs and lows of winning, the benefits of teamwork and more as Olympic Channel Podcast gears up for Tokyo 2020.

Whether you are looking to make a fresh start or build on recent achievements, here are five stories to get your 2019 moving forward.

Every week, the Olympic Channel Podcast finds the people and stories to inspire you to greatness.

Whatever your motivation, draw some inspiration from some of the world’s highest achievers.

Jordyn Wieber

Going into London 2012, American gymnast Jordyn Wieber was the reigning all-around world champion.

But she didn’t make the final of the all-around at the Olympic Games.

She was crushed but that’s when Aly Raisman stepped in.

“She said, ‘Hey, why don’t you come downstairs and hang out with the team?’, and as soon as she said the word team, I realised, that’s what it’s about now. It’s no longer about me.”

Wieber went on to perform to her very best helping USA take gold in the team event.

Now, she’s coaching at UCLA and wants to pass on how important that experience was to her.

"I feel like you can accomplish so much more as a part of a team than you can by yourself," she said to the Olympic Channel Podcast.

PODCAST: LA life: On campus with US gymnasts Jordyn Wieber and Madison Kocian

Jordyn Wieber congratulates Aly Raisman (far left) with USA teammates McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross

LA life: On campus with US gymnasts Jordyn Wieber and Madison Kocian

As we gear up towards the artistic gymnastics world championships in Doha, ...

Michael Phelps

Becoming the person with the most Olympic medals of all time didn’t come without its fair share of difficulties.

And Michael Phelps has been upfront with his struggles with mental health.

“I felt that I didn’t want to be on this earth anymore, I didn’t want to be alive, and at that very moment, for me, it was time to make a change,” he said to the Olympic Channel Podcast.

The American has made it his mission to speak out about his own issues.

“Being able to be open, to be honest, being your authentic self, it took me a long time to find that…

“And everything that you’re doing, you’re doing it because you want to (do it) and you have a passion for it… that’s kind of the equation for success.

“Nothing will stand in your way because your mind is such a powerful thing.”

PODCAST: All-time most decorated Olympian Michael Phelps on mental resilience

Michael PHELPS

United States of America
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Number of medals

28 Olympic medals


Olympic Games

5 Olympic Games

Klete Keller

American swimmer Klete Keller went from winning Olympic gold in 2004 with Michael Phelps to being homeless for 10 months.

Keller is now rebuilding his life.

“I basically got told to buzz off by life. So, really nothing can compare with that.

“I don’t have the fear I once did. I have nothing to lose so I just go out there and make it happen.”

PODCAST: Olympic gold to homeless - Why you should never give up with Klete Keller

From Olympic gold to sleeping in a car

Klete Keller held off Ian Thorpe to win the first of two 4x200m freestyle g...

Yusra Mardini

She dived into the Aegean Sea with her sister as their boat was sinking.

Yusra Mardini put her body, and life, on the line to save refugees escaping war-torn Syria.

The boat was guided to shore due to her intervention with the people onboard owing their lives to Yusra.

She made it to Rio 2016 and won her heat in the 100m butterfly.

The 20-year-old wants peace in Syria.

"For a lot of people it's just a country on the map. For us, it is really heartbreaking."

Mardini refuses to be defined by the word ‘refugee’ and curates her Instagram feed to show she is human like everyone else.

“I am a refugee but I am also a swimmer,” Yusra told the Olympic Channel Podcast.

“And I (am) positive about being a refugee. So, maybe I don’t show a lot of pictures of people who are suffering because I don’t want to… I want to get more positive (message) to the world.”

PODCAST: Yusra Mardini: Redefining the word refugee

Missy Franklin

Towards the end of 2018, Olympic champion swimmer Missy Franklin retired from the sport.

She was only 23.

After a spectacular London 2012, where she won four gold medals, Missy struggled to match expectations at the 2016 Games.

Missy Franklin celebrates at London 2012

“Going into Rio, I felt like I had failed before I even began.

“I really went in there with other people’s goals.”

The American had been suffering with the shoulder injury which eventually caused her retirement, and couldn’t come to terms with her disappointment until long after returning from Brazil.

“A lot of people, whether they realise this or not, are going to put expectations on you…

"That’s not why I do this and it’s not who I am."

PODCAST: Expectations with Missy Franklin and Joseph Schooling


United States of America
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Number of medals

6 Olympic medals


Olympic Games

2 Olympic Games

Each week the Olympic Channel Podcast finds the biggest athletes and speakers to talk about the Olympics.

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