Olympic Champion Ryan Murphy Opens Up About Battles With Migraine Headaches

Ryan Murphy
Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS / ISL

Ryan Murphy will see his biggest battle in the water this summer, aiming to make another Olympic team.

But his biggest battle out of the water has been an even tougher fight.

The three-time Olympic gold medalist has been in an ongoing fight with migraine headaches over the years, which get worse with stress — making competition even more difficult than simply facing off against the nation’s best. It is an extra opponent that has proved to be the toughest.

The worst part is Murphy never knows when that battle is going to begin — or end.

“Yeah honestly the hardest part about migraines is how unexpected it is,” Ryan Murphy told USA TODAY Sports. “It comes at inopportune times mostly for me. A lot of the time migraines come as a result of stress, so when I have a lot going on and then you couple that with the migraines, it is a little bit tough to deal with.”

Murphy went on to detail a story of his first major migraine, that occurred on a flight to the 2012 Olympic Trials.

It was an experience that pushed Murphy to get more education on migraines and worked hard to handle the symptoms when they occur.

Murphy has partnered with Eli Lilly, a prescription medicines sponsor of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).

“They are so excited about helping people reach their potential,” Murphy told USA TODAY Sports. “And they are taking on a lot of really challenging health problems and trying to come up with solutions or management to help people with those health problems.”

Ryan Murphy said it has helped him focus on the extra competitor he faces, even on the biggest stages.