In May, with the struggle ongoing and the clock ticking toward an immovable performance deadline, Sharron Manuel assessed the weight upon her daughter and offered an out: You don’t have to do this, Simone. You don’t have to go to the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials.

For months, America’s best sprinter had quietly been laid out by overtraining, a medical diagnosis she had never heard of. It left her with an accelerated heart rate, general fatigue, muscle aches and depression. To the knowledge of very few, she missed three weeks of training in March—which in a workload-intensive sport is a disaster. Tokyo dreams were teetering. Read More