Many of us idolise professional athletes, and with good cause.

These superstars bat, dive, leap, score, and tackle their way into gold medals at the Olympic Games, titles at the Super Bowl, entries into the Guinness Book of World Records, and more. But what we don’t see is the years of hard work that it took these men and women to get there. The hours they spent practising, the sweat, the tears, the sacrifices. And, most importantly, the failures.

Instead of talking about learning disabilities, let’s call them learning differences. This is more correct in that it implies only that certain peoples’ brains work differently than others do, not that there’s something wrong.

Certain people simply don’t learn in a typical way. But, in a world that’s set up to function for people who do, this must have been an additional strain they’ve had to cope with, above and beyond the incredible demands of their chosen professions.

Looking around at a society far more inclusive than it’s ever been before must be similar to the feeling people get when they find sites offering the largest casino welcome bonuses for new players, for example. It must be wonderful for these individuals to see that their hard work was not only not in vain, but that the road for those who follow them is a little easier these days too.

Michael Phelps

 Renowned swimmer Michael Phelps’ mother, Debbie, said that her son’s ADHD diagnosis made her want to prove everybody wrong. She said that she knew that, if she collaborated with him, he would be able to achieve whatever he set out to do.

As a pair, they worked alongside his teachers to help Michael do the best he could in school, and he’s gone on to become the most decorated Olympian of all time, with 28 medals to his name.

Simone Biles

 Simone Arianne Biles is an artistic gymnast from the USA and took a bronze medal home from the 2016 Olympic Games. In fact, many experts say that Biles is one of the finest gymnasts of all time, and she’s another athlete who has refused to let ADHD stop her.

She’s been open about her struggle and tweeted recently that she refuses to be ashamed of taking medicine for her condition. Her thousands of followers found it very comforting to know that she suffers from something that many of them do and has done so well in spite of it.

 Michelle Carter

 Michelle Carter is a shot putter from the USA and is the current Olympic Women’s Champion for the sport. She’s also been open about the difficulties she’s faced due to ADHD and dyslexia, revealing that she simply could not sit down long enough to be able to get any studying down.

Eventually, though, she managed to find some scholastic success thanks to getting help from tutors and finding something she was really, really good at, shot put. Her honesty then and now proves that we can all excel, no matter what our initial circumstances may be.