Olympic Athletes and Diabetes

J Kate
By J Kate Latest Reply 2012-08-13 01:30:30 -0500
Started 2012-07-31 13:34:32 -0500

Improvements in the management of diabetes mellitus in the twentieth century have made it possible for athletes to compete in sports at a professional level. While it is very rare for professional athletes to have type 2 diabetes, a number of notable athletes suffer type 1.
See the list here:


I understand there are four athletes with diabetes competing in the London games. I think it is great. Wonderful example of the human spirit.

I love Olympic swimmer, Gary Hall's quote after he was diagnosed: “With time, I was able to figure out, “Yes, I can do this.”


At my house we love the swim matches. What's your favorite event?

12 replies

Pharmacist George
Pharmacist George 2012-08-13 01:30:30 -0500 Report

Hi J. Kate,

Awesome post. That’s absolutely true there are no boundaries to anyone can do including a person with diabetes. As a matter of fact endurance or resistance training are the best friends for someone who has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Endurance training is any exercise such as running, cycling, walking and swimming . Resistance training is working out with weight whether machines or free weight.

It definitely does not surprise me to know that there were several Olympians in the 2012 Olympics who have diabetes. The only important factor is that they must test before and after the bout of physical challenge they are about to do. Based on their reading they will adjust their insulin dose accordingly or have Glucose tablets available to bump up their sugar if it dips and that’s all there is to it.

They too can be Olympians and anything else they want. So then break away those boundaries and set your mind to whatever your desires and there’s nothing you can’t do. Good luck.

tabby9146 2012-08-12 22:19:34 -0500 Report

I understand why they are so many more athletes that are type 1 , but it seems there would be a few more type 2s, I was surprised to learn that Billie Jean King was type 2. I never knew that.

CJ55 2012-08-01 00:53:28 -0500 Report

I love the swimming, gymnastics, actually just about everything except the boxing and soccer. Not too keen on those. Was very happy to see the girls gymnastic team take the gold today, and the mens relay with Michael Phelps winning his 19th olympic medal. A very exciting day/evening for Team USA. Yea!!! I'm very proud to be an american. It's an honor. :-)

tabby9146 2012-08-12 22:16:28 -0500 Report

we have watched some everyday, especially at night. I love the gymnastics, swimmning, diving, the most, then synchronized swimming, volleyball. It's been great! we watched the closing ceremonies tonight. gonna miss it.

CJ55 2012-08-12 22:22:29 -0500 Report

I love sports so I enjoyed everything. And we sure did well with medals. A lot of golds ! \U+127482\U+127480

GabbyPA 2012-07-31 13:56:04 -0500 Report

Here is an article by Diabetes Mine that lists the torch runners that also have diabetes. http://www.diabetesmine.com/2012/07/carrying-the-olympic-torch-with-diabetes.html

Here is a blog we can follow for Missy Foy: http://missyfoy.com/trainingblog/?cat=4

I have had the privilege to attend two summer games. Here in Atlanta and in 2000 in Sydney. It is a magical moment to be there, to cheer for your team and to be among the people there. As a diabetic, to know what I have to struggle with, it means even more to know that there are so many athletes out there who don't let diabetes keep them down.

I have heard there are 10 diabetics in the games this year. I have not found them all though.

My favorite events are the typical ones such as gymnastics, soccer, softball, tack & field and swimming. But the ones I attend every year I went were the equestrian events. There is magic when the horse and rider are one. Gives me goose bumps.

J Kate
J Kate 2012-07-31 13:58:04 -0500 Report

10? That's awesome! Thanks for the links. What amazing experiences you have had!

GabbyPA 2012-07-31 14:08:41 -0500 Report

Oh yes, unforgettable! The 1996 games were the last time I had to spend with my dad before he died. He went there with diabetes and even he amazed me (specially now in hind site and experience) as he got around the games with his neuropathy and such. He was a trooper and we had a blast.

The games in Sydney were spectacular! The city was wonderful, though we stayed so far from the city, we ended up giving our field hockey tickets away to some of the Inn staff. They were thrilled!! Australia was playing that day, so someone had a great time as well.

There is such a feeling of camaraderie there it is hard to explain. Even though people don't speak the same language, we all felt like family. You meet people from all over the world who love their countries and their sports. It is such a special feeling. I cannot even imagine how it must feel for those athletes who have dedicated their lives to get there.

J Kate
J Kate 2012-08-01 10:07:04 -0500 Report

What a cool thing to do with your dad. He does sound like a trooper. What a precious memory.