Canadian Olympian Emily Overholt Regains Smile After Swimming Through Struggle


Canadian Olympian Emily Overholt burst on to the international scene as a teenager after a stunning performance at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

She won the bronze medal in the 400 IM. But it was the 2015 Pan American Games where she was one of the most compelling stories. She earned an unexpected win in the 400 free after having victory in the 400 IM eliminated by a disqualification at the games in Toronto.

Then as the push toward the Olympics began, things began to change.

“Things seemed perfect from the outside,” Overholt said. “But all this pressure and expectation was affecting my mental health. That’s definitely when I started to feel depressed.”

Overholt discusses her battle with depression in a recent Swimming Canada story.


“I was in bed pretty much all day every single day. I didn’t want to see my friends, I never saw my family, and I just had no energy or motivation to do anything,” she said in the story. “I was going to practice but I was dragging myself there. I think if I had asked for help sooner, I would have had a very different experience with it all. I waited a very long time before I talked to people about it and before I told them how serious it was. That really just made the problem so much worse.

Things are better now, but it is a work in progress. She made finals at last year’s Pan Pacs. She recently helped UBC to the U Sports national championship with wins and national university records in the 200 free, 400 free, and 400 IM. She has 10 new best times since December. Earlier this month, Sport BC recognized her with the Harry Jerome Comeback Award at its Athlete of the Year Awards.

Read the full story on Overholt here.