For 59-year-old Duncan Goodhew, his career in the swimming pool was more to him than just a competitive sport. He became permanently bald at the age of 10 due to an accident and was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 13, although he struggled in school long before then. He states in an interview, “Often dyslexia had made me feel that I had STUPID in neon light flashing on my forehead. And then my hair fell out so people stared at me because I was so young and bald.” These two factors had significant negative impacts on his self-confidence, but luckily he was able to find confidence through the sport of competitive swimming.

Goodhew was born and raised in England, but swam in the United States at North Carolina State University while attending school there. Soon after his success at the University, he became an Olympic swimmer for Great Britain and swam in both the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the 1980 Summer Olympic games in Moscow. Although he did not earn any medals in his first game, he returned with fierce determination in 1980 games and won both gold and bronze medals. While speaking about his success, he credits swimming for allowing him to face his dyslexia. Goodhew no longer swims competitively, but now does charity work throughout the United Kingdom where he is still surrounded by the sport. Additionally, he is a motivational speaker and talks openly about his struggle with his dyslexia and baldness, both of which have helped get him where he is today.

Read more about Duncan Goodhew and his current projects that have gained him the recognition of Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) here.