Famous Friday: Gary Hall
Gary Hall may have 10 Olympic medals, but he also has Type 1 diabetes. Hall comes form a family of Olympic swimmers. He entered his first Olympics in 1996 when he was only 21 years old. During his career in the Olympics he has set the world record for the 400-meter freestyle and medley relays and also discovered that he had Type 1 diabetes.
In 1999 he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. At that time doctors told him to say goodbye to his career in swimming because it would be too hard with his diabetes. Hall gave into what the doctors had told him and took some time off. Hall decided to learn everything he possibly could about his diabetes and partnered up with an endocrinologist who encouraged him to get back in the water. Instead of giving up on his dreams in continued on to the 2000 Olympics taking home yet another gold medal and setting another world record for swimming.
Hall is a huge advocate for checking your blood sugars three to four times a day. He is well aware that when it comes to exercise and diabetes you can never be 100% sure of the outcome. With swimming causing highs and lows Hall carries a diabetes kit in his bag. In his kit he keeps his insulin for when his blood sugars are high and juice for when he goes low and he keeps his bag with him up until he is prepping to jump in the water.
Hall announced his retirement in 2008 and now uses his time to talk to people about how to control their diabetes and not their diabetes control them.