Olympic Swimmer Ryan Murphy Becomes Outspoken Voice for Migraine Sufferers

Over the years, three-time gold medalist and 2016 Olympian, Ryan Murphy, has battled migraine headaches that worsen with stress, making training much more difficult than just having to compete against the best in the nation. These migraines have proven to be Murphy’s toughest opponent.

To cope with his migraines, Murphy maintains a low-stress lifestyle, doing yoga, going to physical therapy, and talking to someone he trusts. In an interview with USA TODAY Sports, Murphy gave some insight on his experience.

“Yeah honestly the hardest part about migraines is how unexpected it is,” said Murphy. "It comes at inopportune times mostly for me. A lot of the time migraines come as a result of stress, so when I have a lot going on and then you couple that with the migraines, it is a little bit tough to deal with.”

Murphy then recounted the first time he had a major migraine, which was on a trip to the 2012 Olympic Trials. He was influenced by his experience to gain more knowledge about migraines and to work diligently to manage the symptoms as they occurred.

Murphy has also joined forces with Eli Lilly, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s prescription drug affiliate. Eli Lilly focuses on oncology and biomedicine therapeutics, as well as treating a variety of diseases such as diabetes. Lilly is also partnering with various Olympic stars, including Chaunté Lowe.

“It’s inspiring me to work with a group like Eli Lilly that’s working hard behind the scenes to help people focus on their goal,” said Murphy. “That’s what I’m doing. I’m focusing on the swimming, as a result of a company like Eli Lilly coming up with a solution to a lot of these tough health problems.”


Ryan Murphy is one of Team USA’s top athletes to anticipate this summer, so there will be strong expectations for him to add another gold medal to his collection. When questioned about how many events he hoped to win this summer, Murphy expressed his adoration for this country and hopes to lead Team USA to as many victories as possible.

"We'll see how everything shakes up, but I'd love to win as much hardware as I can for Team US,” said Murphy. “I'm very patriotic. I love this country and I [would love to] hopefully win some medals for USA.”

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