Four-time Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard will be the speaker Thursday at the 16th annual Do Something Healthy health fair sponsored by Multicare Health System. LEE GILES III Staff file, 2015
Four-time Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard will be the speaker Thursday at the 16th annual Do Something Healthy health fair sponsored by Multicare Health System. LEE GILES III Staff file, 2015

Fitness

Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard speaks at Do Something Healthy

By Jeffrey P. Mayor

jmayor@thenewstribune.com

January 13, 2016 07:25 PM

UPDATED January 16, 2016 02:26 PM

Seven-time Olympic medalist, swimmer Amanda Beard will talk Thursday about how she dealt with depression, drug abuse and other personal issues at MultiCare’s 16th annual Do Something Healthy.

The event also includes a health fair with information and health screenings from MultiCare Health System departments.

“The event is designed to help kick off a healthy New Year,” said Roxanne Cooke, MultiCare’s senior media relations coordinator. “Our goal is to help educate, empower and inspire our community about health and wellness and to encourage everyone to make healthy lifestyle choices.”

Beard first came to national attention during the Summer Games of 1996 in Atlanta. Just 14 then, she won a gold medal and two silver medal, and was often shown carrying her teddy bear.

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Now married to photographer Sacha Brown, Amanda Beard is mother of two young children and is working on opening a swim school in Gig Harbor.

While not done swimming competitively, Beard’s career has included four Olympic games, 21 total medals at major international events and twice being named the American swimmer of the year. She has also been a successful model and appeared on television.

Along the way, however, Beard was dealing with a number of personal issues. Hiding the situation from close friends, family members or coaches, Beard struggled physically and emotionally with depression, bulimia, drug abuse and bad relationships.

“I think the things I’ve experienced in life aren’t different from the things other people experience in life, “ Beard said in a story in March. “There’s always the moments where it’s hard, “ she said. “It can get very, very frustrating and those moments can last for a long time.”

Now married to photographer Sacha Brown, the 34-year-old Beard is a mother of two young children and is working on opening a swim school in Gig Harbor, where she and her family now live.

During her program, Beard will talk about her journey and overcoming personal obstacles, drawing on details from her 2012 memoir “In the Water, They Can’t See You Cry.”

Cooke said one of the hospital’s doctors heard Beard speak and recommended she be considered for “Do Something Healthy.”

“There is so much hard work and dedication that goes into being an Olympic athlete, and we were excited to hear that we had an Olympian right here in our own backyard,” Cooke said.

Past speakers have included Jillian Michaels from “The Biggest Loser,” Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, Derek Hough from “Dancing with the Stars” and Olympic snowboarder Shaun White.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640

Do Something Healthy

What: MultiCare Health System's 16th annual event features a health fair and presentation by former Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard.

When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday. The health fair will run from 6-6:30 p.m.

Where: Hotel Murano, Tacoma Bicentennial Pavilion, 1320 Broadway, Tacoma.

Cost: $10 per person. Seating is limited and registration required. Register online at multicare.org/events-page/?eid=69172 or by calling 800-485-0205.