Michael Phelps to receive Ruderman Foundation honor for his advocacy on behalf of disabled persons

(JTA) — Michael Phelps, the most decorated swimmer in Olympics history, will receive the Morton E. Ruderman Award for Inclusion of People with Disabilities.

The Ruderman Family Foundation will honor Phelps in recognition of his advocacy for people with disabilities and the sharing of his own journey with mental health, the foundation said in a statement.

Since he retired from swimming in August 2016, Phelps has dedicated his time and energy to promote the importance of water safety and normalizing the conversation surrounding mental health through the Michael Phelps Foundation.

“In sharing his personal story with the world, Phelps has demonstrated the importance of taking care of oneself and accessing help when needed.  In a world in which shame and stigma are pervasive, Phelps’ leadership in advocacy, raising awareness and destigmatizing mental health is critical,” the statement said.

Phelps has won 28 Olympic medals, including a record-setting 23 gold medals, over the course of his career.