American artistic gymnast Sam Mikulak (full name: Samuel Anthony Mikulak) has had quite a solid start in the Tokyo Games, coming in at No. 5 in July 24's parallel bars, and bringing Team USA to No. 5 in July 26's artistic team all-around.
The six-time U.S. national all-around champion and three-time Olympian has already made an impressive name for himself at just 28 years old. The son of competitive gymnasts, Sam started training at just 2 and went on to become the University of Michigan's first male gymnast to qualify for the Olympics.
And while Olympic gymnastics fans are often focused on the USA women's team, here's our chance to learn more about one of the four gymnasts selected to lead U.S. men's gymnastics. So, who exactly is Sam Mikulak? And who is Sam's wife-to-be?
Sam Mikulak recently revealed he had a mental breakdown after the 2016 Games.
Competing in his third Olympic Games has been an accomplishment Sam hasn't taken lightly. Before shipping off to Tokyo, the gymnast took to Instagram to share his thoughts on the "standard of happiness" he had previously created for himself "that depended on the approval of others."
"After my first Olympics, I received a large amount of love and adoration from the public," he reflected. "I remember feeling on top of the world from that. Then it faded. I created a new standard of happiness that depended on the approval of others. Therein lies the problem. Nothing can ever [be] enough when your expectations are so high."
"I stand here 9 years later ... to state that I am enough. I blamed gymnastics for so much of my unhappiness," he continued. "It wans't gymnastics that I was unhappy with. It was myself."
When he's not competing for the gold, Sam has thrown himself into mental health awareness. He participated as a panelist this year at an event held in conjunction with USA Gymnastics. "I had a big mental breakdown after 2016," he shared, "and I had to pick myself up and re-prioritize so many aspects of my life."
He went on, "After 2016, I knew: I needed to share the load. I needed to create a team for my mental health instead of putting it all on myself."
Soon-to-be wife Mia Atkins has been one of Sam's biggest supporters.
After dating for four years, Sam and TV news host Mia Atkins recently celebrated one year of engagement. He popped the question on July 8, 2020, while the couple was vacationing on California's Catalina Island. "Engaged to my best friend! You are the love of my life and forever isn't long enough," Sam wrote in a caption alongside a photo of himself down on one knee.
According to an Instagram he posted on Jan. 9, the happy couple will be walking down the aisle to make it official on New Year's Eve of 2021. "Our final anniversary for Jan. 9," he wrote. "New one starts Dec. 31, 2021! Can't wait to get married and make this the most memorable year yet."
North Carolina-based Mia is one of the hosts of Charlotte Today. Before landing the gig alongside co-host Eugene Robinson, the Arizona State broadcast journalism grad worked as a TV host for FOX21 News' Living Local.
"Proud doesn't even cut it," Mia captioned a photo of herself holding flowers at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials back in June. "So happy I could be here to cheer you on. So lucky to be loved by such an amazing and inspiring man," she wrote.
We'll be by Mia's side in spirit these games, cheering Sam on!