Olympic gold medalist Allison Schmitt is headed to her fourth Olympics after holding off Paige Madden by one-hundredth of a second for the runner-up spot behind Katie Ledecky in the 200-meter freestyle Wednesday.
The 31-year-old Canton Township native finished with a time of 1:56.79, which gives her a likely individual event in Tokyo as well as a spot on the 4x200 free relay.
Schmitt has been open and transparent about her personal struggles with depression.
“I think it’s important because a lot of people see the highlights. The highlight reels of the exciting times and what’s on TV and it’s not really shown,” she said. “The struggles are the hard times leading up to that. I think it’s important to speak about that and understand that we’re all human.”
She said she carries that with her when she’s visiting her family in Canton or training in Arizona. She said it’s important to have a support system wherever you go. Part of her support system includes her friend Michael Phelps.
Both swimmers have disclosed their struggles even while performing brilliantly in the pool.
“I don’t even know how to put it into words,” Schmitt said. “He’s been a brother inside the pool and outside the pool. It helped me so much. Even now, when he’s not swimming, he’s a huge part of it.”