Michael Phelps is picking up more hardware — this time for what he’s been doing outside the pool.
The Boston-based Ruderman Family Foundation, a leading voice in calling for more opportunities for the disabled, said Tuesday the Olympic champion is the recipient of its fifth annual Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion.
The foundation told The Associated Press it picked the world’s most decorated swimmer of all time to recognize his advocacy for people with disabilities and “his own journey with mental health.”
Phelps has gone public about his struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide.
Last year, the 23-time Olympic gold medalist announced a partnership with Talkspace , which provides online therapy for those who are going through tough times. Phelps said helping people overcome the dark chapters in their lives is “way bigger than ever winning gold medals.”
In a statement, the 33-year-old Olympian thanked the Ruderman Family Foundation for “their continued efforts to help eliminate the shame and stigma that surrounds mental illness.”
“Together, we can normalize the mental health conversation and recognize the potential in every person — with or without mental illness — to contribute to our world in their own unique way,” Phelps said.
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Photo by Gage Skidmore