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This athlete struggled through depression to win gold in Rio

Abby Dunkin went from suicidal thoughts to Paralympic gold in just three years. That has to be a record.

Abby Dunkin has been named to two Team USA Paralympic wheelchair basketball teams. She’ll have to wait until 2021 to participate in her second.
Abby Dunkin / Team USA / Instagram

If ever you needed a jolt of motivation, Abby Dunkin’s story will do it.

The wheelchair basketball star found the sport in 2013. She was a natural, representing Team USA within two years and winning a gold medal in the Paralympics in 2016, just three years after starting in the sport.

She talks with me for the Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast about her incredible journey to the top of her sport, as well as her struggles with disability and her tumultuous relationship with her father. All of it led to one night, and a bottle of prescription pills, that ultimately turned her life around.

She was gearing up for her second Paralympics when everything was put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic. Now she’s looking to build a career as a personal trainer in Texas.

You can listen to my conversation with Abby Dunkin on the Megaphone player, or by visiting Apple podcasts for an easy browser player. Five Rings To Rule Them All is also available on Google Podcasts, Spotify and many more platforms. Just search for Outsports wherever you get your podcast.

You can follow Abby Dunkin on Instagram @adunk23, or on Twitter @ADunkin23.

If you’re an LGBTQ person in sports looking to connect with others in the community, head over to GO! Space to meet and interact with other LGBTQ athletes, or to Equality Coaching Alliance to find other coaches and administrators.

If you are considering suicide, LGBTQ youth (ages 24 and younger) can reach the Trevor Project Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. Adults can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 24 hours a day, and it’s available to people of all ages and identities. Trans or gender-nonconforming people can reach Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860.