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Athletes

Allison
Schmitt
United States of AmericaUnited States of America, USA
Swimming

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
07 June 1990
Height
186 cm
Occupation
Athlete, Counsellor, Student
Languages
English
Higher education
Psychology - University of Georgia: Athens, GA, USA

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age nine.
Why this sport?
After not making the football [soccer] team in middle school, she decided to follow in the footsteps of her sister Kristen and start swimming.
Club / Team
Sun Devil Swimming: Tempe, AZ, USA
Name of coach
Bob Bowman [club], USA

General Interest

Nicknames
Schmitty (zwemza.com, 06 Jul 2018)
Hobbies
Scrapbooking, photography, playing outdoor games, playing board games. (usaswimming.org, 10 Aug 2016)
Hero / Idol
US swimmer Michael Phelps. (glamour.com, 06 Sep 2011)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Swimming is such a small part of life. Yes, I love it. But at the end of the day, it's just a sport. Whether you finish first or last, you're still loved by the same people and you still are who you are." (swimswam.com, 08 Jul 2019)
Awards and honours
She was selected to be a member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. (swimswam.com, 23 May 2019)

She received the Perseverance Award at the 2015 Golden Goggles Awards. (olympics.nbcsports.com, 23 Nov 2015)

In 2013 she received the Honda Sports Award for swimming at the Collegiate Women Sports Awards in the United States of America. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 02 May 2013)

In 2008 she was named Michigan State High School Female Athlete of the Year in the United States of America. (usaswimming.org, 12 Jul 2011)

She was the 2006 and 2007 Michigan High School Swimmer of the Year. (usaswimming.org, 12 Jul 2011)
Famous relatives
Her older brother Derek swam for Ohio University and the University of Pittsburgh in the United States of America. Her younger sisters, twins Kari and Sara, played ice hockey at Ohio State University. (usaswimming.org, 10 Aug 2016)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (olympics.nbcsports.com. 01 Aug 2019)
Other information
OCCUPATION AIDS SWIMMING
In 2018/19 she interned as a counsellor for students and the general population at Arizona State University, as part of her master's degree in social work. Coach Bob Bowman said he believes her counselling work has helped her to express herself better, and she believes it has aided her swimming. "I have enjoyed the experiences and opportunities I've had as a counsellor and in my master's programme, and I think it has helped me both as a person and as a swimmer. I think my job as a swimmer and as a counsellor are completely different. I am definitely looking forward to a career path after swimming, but right now I am focusing on swimming." (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 01 Aug 2019)

CAREER BREAK
After competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she took an extended break from competitive swimming. She thought about retiring but never confirmed her decision and decided to focus on gaining a master's degree in social work. In 2017 she returned to the pool to keep in shape but had no intention of making a competitive comeback. However, she began training full-time in January 2018 and returned to competition that April. "I soon felt young again. Coming back after 18 months to race, have fun and doing it for the joy of it was the ultimate goal as I gained a new perspective for the sport." (zwemza.com, 06 Jul 2018; swimmingworldmagazine.com, 13 Apr 2018; swimswam.com, 13 Apr 2018; swimswam.com, 04 Apr 2018)

DEPRESSION
In May 2015 she revealed that she had been experiencing depression since the 2012 Olympic Games in London. "For two years I had a hard time. It's been tough for me. Really tough. It has taken me two years to open up about it. I couldn't talk about it. I just want people to know it is OK to ask for help. You see on social media athletes who put up a smoke screen for what's really going on. I just want to let them know that it's OK not to be OK." (swimswam.com, 18 Sep 2017; health.com, 15 Aug 2016; teamusa.org, 20 May 2015)

FURTHER EDUCATION
She has studied for a master's degree in social work at Arizona State University in the United States of America. "I want to specifically work with athletes that have mental illnesses, depression and anxiety. I never thought this is where I would be. I guess all the events and experiences that have taken place over the few years have led me to social work. A lot of it is putting together my experiences." (hometownlife.com, 01 Aug 2018)

MENTAL HEALTH AMBASSADOR
Along with US swimmer Michael Phelps, she was named an honorary chairperson of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA] Health Awareness Day in May 2017. The event focused attention on the needs of children and young adults who have experienced mental health issues. (newsletter.samhsa.gov, 16 May 2017; swimswam.com, 18 Feb 2017)