The three-time Olympic gold medalist suffers from migraines but won't let that stop him in the pool, he says

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Ryan Murphy
Credit: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

Olympic swimmer Ryan Murphy wouldn't have made it this far on his quest for another gold medal without his support system.

"I think the biggest thing it would symbolize is how great of people I have around me," Murphy tells PEOPLE of another potential Olympic victory. "I'm coming in every day. I wake up with a purpose. I wake up with a sense of urgency. I really enjoy what I'm doing."

Continues the athlete, "I also know that my swim coach is doing the same thing. He's putting in as much work as he can to try to help me achieve my dreams. The physical therapist, the chiropractor, the psychologist, all of those people are helping me to make sure that my body and mind are in the right spot going into a competition."

Murphy, 25, is a graduate of the University of California, Berkley and a three-time Olympic gold medalist who qualified to compete in the 200m and 100m backstroke at the Tokyo Games during the Team USA swimming trials in June.

The athlete — who secured his three gold medals in the Rio Summer Games back in 2016 — says that his family and friends are also part of his big support system.

"I'm really lucky," he says. "I consider myself to have a really great family, and my family has been huge throughout this entire pandemic. Everyone in my family knows, if someone's struggling, if someone needs support in some way, the rest of the family is there. And I think that's huge."

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Continues Murphy, "I live with a bunch of my friends in a house. ... All of my friends have been working from home and I get to see a little bit into the careers that they're doing. They get to see a little bit more into my career and training for the Olympics. So, I consider myself really lucky."

Ryan Murphy
Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Olympic swimmer, who is sponsored by Eli Lilly, also gets candid with PEOPLE about suffering from migraines, which he says are brought on by high-stress situations. When a migraine begins, he says he tries to stay calm through yoga meditation or talking to someone to keep him leveled throughout the day.

Ryan Murphy
Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Murphy tells PEOPLE that he has fortunately never gotten a migraine on a competition day but says that he knows his condition well enough to be able to manage it and still compete.

"I'm someone where when I get a migraine, the first thing that happens is I get really hot. Also, I'll start profusely sweating," Murphy explains. "So, I'll try to go with some water, putting an ice pack on my head. If that doesn't work, then I'm trying to take a nap, close the eyes, because my eyes do get a little bit sensitive to the light as I'm going through a migraine."

If those cure-alls fail, Murphy says he just waits for it to pass — and wakes up good as new, and ready to conquer the pool.

To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23rd on NBC.