Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy looks to Tokyo Summer Olympics for another medal

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Ryan Murphy is the world record holder in the 100 meter backstroke.

The 25-year-old is also a 3-time Olympic gold medalist. He won all three at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

But this Olympic champion also deals with something common to all of us, Migraine.

With the Tokyo Summer Olympics in July, Ryan joined WMBD/WYZZ’s Matt Sheehan to talk about his hopes to win gold in Tokyo and how he deals with his disease.

“As we close in on the Games, how important is it for the athletes that the Games happen this year?” Sheehan asked.

“It’s huge. In general, the Olympics are the pinnacle in any sport. Given that comes around every 4 years, or in this case every 5th year, the stakes are really high. The athletes are putting a lot into this, we are really excited, and ready to go. I can’t wait to see what Team USA brings to the table this summer,” Murphy said.

Murphy said the Tokyo Summer Olympics will be different than any other Olympic games he’s competed in before.

“It will be completely different, and we’re ready for that. We’ve learned and we’ve been trained to be willing to roll with what each day brings. I feel like with my group here at CAL, we’re still getting day-to-day schedules. I found out my practice schedule at 8:30 p.m. last night and I was in the water at 7:00 a.m. this morning. We gotta be ready for anything that comes our way, and Tokyo will be no different. It’ll be interesting to see how these protocols come together over these next few months, and we’ll be ready for anything,” Murphy said.

Murphy suffers from migraine. He said he deals with it by staying low-stress, doing yoga, and talking with someone he trusts.

A lot of what I do is I’ll talk to someone if I’m experiencing a lot of stress, feeling nervous about something like the Olymipcs, and talking that through. Just getting those emotions out and when I leave those calls, I’m feeling good. I just talk things out and I feel a lot better after. I also do yoga to make sure my muscles stay loose,” Murphy said. “Massage and physical therapy to make sure my body is staying in a good spot and then just manage symptoms. 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 goals. 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.”

Murphy has won three gold medals in the Olympics, he wants to win another in Tokyo.

“I feel like I’m putting a lot of work into this and my support system is putting a lot of work into helping me reach my potential. It’s been a grind of a year, we’ve been working really hard both in and out of the pool. My support staff has been incredible. Coaches, teammates, family members, and even extends to sponsors. Having a sponsor like Eli Lilly, it helps me focus on my training and do what I do in the pool. I do wanna go to Tokyo and win gold, that’d be a really cool thing to do,” Murphy said.

You can follow Murphy’s journey at Lilly.com.

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