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Athletes Overcoming Diabetes

Just because a person has diabetes, it doesn't mean they can’t excel at sports. Here is a look at two professional athletes who prove that with determination, discipline and the right attitude, you can beat the illness!

Diabetic Athletes – Shooting Star

As an eighth grader, basketball star Adam Morrison was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Concerned that his hoop dreams might be compromised, his doctor assured him that he could still play in the NBA despite the disease. Adam took that advice and went on to star at Gonzaga University, where he led the Nation in scoring as a senior and was named National Player of the Year. The Charlotte Bobcats made him the third overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. Just as impressive as his outside shot is Adam’s dedication to counter diabetes, making him a role model for diabetics all across the world. During games, Adam is regularly seen injecting himself with insulin during timeouts when his blood sugar level gets too high and he drinks fruit juice or eats something with sugar when his blood sugar level is too low. Through insulin and a well-managed diet, Adam has managed to keep the same excercise routine since his diagnosis in grade eight.

Adam Morrison Says…

“Today, I want to show people with diabetes that it’s possible to live a healthy life and to follow your dreams.”

Diabetic Athletes – Olympic Champion

Olympic swimmer Gary Hall Jr. didn’t let diabetes stop him from winning 10 Olympic medals. Like Adam Morrison, Gary has Type 1 diabetes. He wasn’t diagnosed with the condition until he was 25 years old. At that time he was already an Olympic medalist, and was told by doctors that his swimming career was over. After taking a short time off to contemplate his next step, he decided to continue swimming. He hooked up with a good doctor and started learning how to compete despite the illness. The following year at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Gary won the 50m freestyle in record time! Gary added two more medals (one gold and one bronze) to his collection at the 2004 Athens Games, despite being the oldest swimmer there. When he is not competing, Gary tests his blood sugar level eight times a day. On days when he races, he has his diabetes kit by his side as he constantly tests himself. Gary stresses the importance of disciplining yourself to maintain a consistent routine when comes down to managing your diabetes.

Gary Hall Jr. Says…

“With time, I was able to figure out, “Yes, I can do this.”

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