Celebrities and athletes living gluten-free are casting a much-needed light on the lifestyle changes that accompany a gluten-free diet. With their openness about their symptoms, dietary changes and more, athletes and celebrities in the spotlight are proving that celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are more prevalent than is currently known, that these conditions affects all kinds of people, and that abiding by a gluten-free diet does not stop them from living the life they love.
Dana Vollmer, U.S. swimmer and 2012 Olympian recently brought home a gold medal and set a world record in the process. Not nearly as recently, Vollmer adopted a gluten-free diet. After injuries and illness prevented her from qualifying for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, she questioned her entire career as a swimmer, and her future in the sport. But today, Vollmer is looking strong and healthy, and after breaking the previous world record for the 100m butterfly, is proving that living gluten free doesn’t mean living without doing the things you love and living the life you want to live.
Here is a list of Olympic athletes who follow a gluten-free diet:
- Nate Brannen – Middle-distance runner for Canada. Follows a gluten-free diet as a part of an injury prevention plan.
- Andrew Steele – Runner for Great Britain. Switched to a gluten-free diet after struggling with injuries.
- Jenn Suhr – American pole vaulter diagnosed with celiac disease in 2011.
- Novak Djokovic- Tennis player from Serbia. One of the most widely known athletes following a gluten-free diet.
- Dana Vollmer – U.S. swimmer. Abides by a gluten- and egg-free diet.
- Amy Yoder Begley – U.S. track and field athlete diagnosed with celiac disease in 2006. Unfortunately, Amy had to withdraw due to injury.