Through dark waters: An Olympian’s journey from abuse to hope

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Through dark waters: An Olympian’s journey from abuse to hope

I should be dead, admits the swimmer, drug addict and writer, or ‘at the very least incarcerated’

Oliver Brown

“I was one of the fastest swimmers in the world, and yet so deeply unpredictable.” One day, Casey Legler might be tempted to make this their epitaph, although the story suggests it errs on the side of understatement.

At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, the French-American –who prefers gender-neutral pronouns – broke the world record in the 50m freestyle in practice, only to rank 29th quickest on the day of the heats. The next day, they were dealing drugs to fellow athletes. What ensued was a tailspin of addiction and emotional anguish so acute that it is a wonder Legler has survived to conduct this interview at all.

“I should be dead,” they admit. “Or at the very least incarcerated.”..

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