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May 11, 2021

Madeline Banic: Swimming and Mental Health Champion, Episode #115, 05-11-21

Madeline Banic: Swimming and Mental Health Champion, Episode #115, 05-11-21

Maddy Banic is not only a swim champion, but a champion of mental health. How does a person come back from the brink of suicide to become a record-setting athlete and Olympic hopeful? Professional swimmer Madeline Banic joins the show to talk with Kelly and Maria about the darkest time of her life -- and the tools she used, and continues to implement, to recover, and how she also shares those tools with others through mental health advocacy.

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Madeline “Maddy” Banic is a 9-time SEC conference champion and NCAA champion who graduated from the University of Tennessee. Specializing in sprint fly and free, she swims professionally. Her first year as a professional swimmer with the International Swimming League, Maddy was a member of the L.A. Current and then switched to the Energy Standard Team where she had a breakout 2020 season. 

Maddy had tough times during her time in college. After years of fighting anxiety and depression, she came to a very low point and contemplated suicide. She left school to receive treatment and came back with a zest for life and swimming. She went on to be voted captain of her team and win the NCAA in the 200 medley relay her senior year. Maddy is now an advocate for mental health awareness, hoping to help others avoid the despair she endured.

Episode Topics and Mentions

CG Sports Network

University of Tennessee


ISL, International Swimming League

L.A. Current

Energy Standard Team Elite



Mental health awareness



Toxic traits

Cognitive distortions

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, by David D. Burns

Feeling Great: The Revolutionary New Treatment for Depression and Anxiety, by David D. Burns

CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

DBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Knoxville, Tennessee

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 “in the moment” exercise

Depression and Anxiety Toolkit

The Hidden Opponent organization

Sarah Sordjstrom

Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, TN



Decide to use life’s challenges as things you can use to grow as a person.


Use the 5,4,3,2,1 “in the moment” exercise to ground yourself and be really present in the moment to keep anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed at bay.

Quote of the Week

“Put yourself first. Whatever you have to do. Talk to someone, go seek help. It’s okay to put your life on hold to put yourself first. There is only one of you and you only get this one life.”. -- Madeline Banic

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