Olympic gold medalist Misty Hyman sits down for a rare interview with Live Good. Ms. Hyman won the gold medal in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. She has a degree from Stanford University and is considered one of the most versatile swimmers in the world.
LG: As an Olympic gold medalist, you have the opportunity to speak on behalf of various companies and global issues. Why did you choose to support the Live Good mission?
MH: I believe that the way we choose to live significantly affects the health of our bodies and the health of our planet. I do my best to eat and live as naturally as possible, but it’s not always easy. At the same time, I want to live fashionably and surrounded by the highest quality. I don’t have to sacrifice either ideal with Live Good, and I feel good knowing that the products are conscientiously produced from beginning to end.
LG: We know that you suffered from severe allergies and asthma as a child. When did you decide to start swimming to improve your health?
MH: Actually, a very smart doctor recommended swimming as one of the best therapies for kids with asthma when I was just five years old. She was right. Thanks to swimming my asthma is no longer life threatening. Even when I have my worst attacks, my lung capacity is still better than the average person! Of course, I still have to manage my asthma and take good care of myself, but swimming changed my life! I am sure my parents never imagined that I would be an athlete let alone an Olympian. However, I am still sensitive to pollutants, dyes, and chemicals. I definitely feel better when I minimize my exposure to these things in my life.
LG: You won the gold medal in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. What were you thinking when you saw the scoreboard?
MH: Ha ha. It’s difficult to describe what that moment felt like. I knew I had just had the race of my life, but when you are swimming you really can’t see where all of your opponents are in the pool. I had to look at the scoreboard three times to be sure that I had won. Finally, I started to realize what had happened, there really was a one by my name and the scoreboard started flashing ‘American Record’, ‘Olympic Record’. The best I can describe it is like having every emotion you have ever had in your whole life rolled up into about ten seconds. Part of me was so exhausted and relieved that it was over that I wanted to curl up into a ball in the corner, and the other part of me, that won out, wanted to jump up and down, go crazy, and forget that there were thousands of people watching in the stands and millions watching on television. That experience was probably one of the most emotionally pure and unfiltered moments of my life.
LG: Why did you choose the butterfly stroke as your signature stroke?
MH: As my swimming hero, Mary T. Meagher, whose American Record I broke, once said, “I didn’t pick butterfly, butterfly picked me.” For some reason the butterfly motion has always been the most natural of all the strokes to me. Sometimes I really felt as if I was born to do butterfly.
LG: What Live Good items do you personally use at home?
MH: I love the organic sheets and bedding! There is nothing better than sliding into luxurious organic linen that is free from dyes and irritants at the end of a long day at the pool. I didn’t realize how much difference it makes until I tried it. I thought my standard department store sheets felt good, but by comparison they are rather uncomfortable. I never knew how good sheets could feel!
LG: We hear that you know Live Good Founder Jennifer Chi personally. What do you think of the job she has done so far?
MH: I am so impressed and proud of what she has done. It is not easy to do things completely differently from the norm. Jen is seriously changing the game by bringing her much-needed high standards into the manufacturing industry. I love that she chose to manufacture in the United States so that she could maintain the highest standards of hygiene, fair labor practices, and respect for the surrounding community. It is wonderful to see her put her talents and smarts into such a good cause. Her success shows her dedication to ethical manufacturing and corporate social responsibility.
LG: Congratulations on your engagement! Who is the lucky fella? When is the big day?
MH: Thank you! His name is Travis Kline. We met through swimming. He swam for Notre Dame. We are getting married in New York next summer.
LG: What are your plans for the future?
MH: I don’t swim professionally anymore. I currently coach swimmers of all levels in my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. I also travel around the world giving motivational speeches and swimming clinics.