Other Free Encyclopedias » Famous Sports Stars » Swimming » Matt Biondi Biography - Collegiate Champion, Olympic Pressures, The '88 Games, In And Out Of Retirement, Out Of The Pool

Matt Biondi - Out Of The Pool

carl lewis 1984 olympics freestyle meter relay medals

Biondi had lost his trademark competitive zeal even before the Barcelona Olympics. "I can't tell you how many mornings I got to the pool and stood over the cold water and just had to force myself to drop in," he told Sports Illustrated. Biondi "was thrilled with his achievements, but the intense push toward medals and records had worn on him," Portland Oregonian reporter Katy Muldoon wrote in a feature story in 2000. "And even though he sometimes sought it out, he says, the spotlight traumatized him. Shy by nature, Biondi found the near-constant attention from the news media and the public emotionally difficult."

Biondi met Kirsten Metzger after the '92 Games at a University of California football game where he and other Cal Olympians were honored during a halftime ceremony. A few months later, they bumped into each other on the street in Berkeley. Two years later, they married in Hawaii, Kirsten's home state. The couple lived in northern California and Biondi, who had returned to the motivational speaking circuit, was drifting and directionless. "He would cross-country ski in winter and spend long summer afternoons sailing on San Francisco Bay with his father," Muldoon wrote. Biondi told her that he "felt like life was getting too easy, too soft. I had my speech down. I could make ends meet by working once a month."

Biondi's wife convinced him to return to college. He enrolled at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, where Kirsten had earned a graduate degree in public administration, and graduated with a master's degree in teaching in 2000. "I want to make a difference by being in a profession where I can spend a lot of time with kids," Biondi said. "And I would like to work with one group all yearnot just come in … traveling around with my gold medals, all sensational."

Chronology

1965 Born October 8 in Palo Alto, California
1984 Earns Olympic gold medal
1985 Named American Swimmer of the Year and nominated for the Sullivan Award, which goes to America's outstanding amateur athlete
1986 Becomes first swimmer ever to win seven medals at the World Championships
1987 Graduates from University of California—Berkeley, where he was four-time All-American in both swimming and water polo, played on three NCAA Champion water polo teams, and was NCAA Swimmer of the Year three years in a row
1988 Wins seven Olympic medals, tying record set by Mark Spitz in 1972
1990 Wins five medals at Goodwill Games
1991 Wins four medals at World Championships
1992 Wins three more Olympic medals and ties Spitz and shooter Carl Osburn with total of 11
1994 Donates Olympic medals—eight gold, two silver, one bronze—to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago
1995 Marries Kirsten Metzger in Hawaii, her home state
1998 First son, Nathaniel, is born
2000 Earns master's degree in education from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon
2001 Begins teaching high school math in Hawaii
2002 Second son, Lucas, is born

Awards and Accomplishments

1983 Member of NCAA Champion water polo team
1984 All-American in swimming and water polo; member of NCAA Champion water polo team
1984 Gold medal (4×100 meter freestyle relay), Olympic Games, Los Angeles
1985 NCAA Swimmer of the Year; American Swimmer of the Year; All-American in swimming and water polo
1985 NCAA champion in 100 yard freestyle, 200 yard freestyle, 4×100 yard freestyle relay, 4×200 yard freestyle relay
1986 U.S. Olympic Committee Male Athlete of the Year; NCAA Swimmer of the Year; All-American in swimming and water polo
1986 NCAA champion in 50 yard freestyle, 100 yard freestyle, 200 yard freestyle, 4×100 yard freestyle relay, 4×200 yard freestyle relay
1986 Three gold medals (100 meter freestyle, 4×100 meter freestyle relay, 4×100 meter medley relay), one silver medal (100 meter butterfly); and three bronze medals (50 meter freestyle, 200 meter freestyle, 4×200 meter freestyle relay), World Championships, Madrid, Spain
1987 NCAA Swimmer of the Year; All-American in swimming and water polo; member of NCAA Champion water polo team
1987 NCAA champion in 50 yard freestyle, 100 yard freestyle, 200 yard freestyle, 4×100 yard freestyle relay
1988 U.S. Olympic Committee Male Athlete of the Year
1988 Five gold medals (50 meter freestyle, 100 meter freestyle, 4×100 meter freestyle relay, 4×200 freestyle relay, 4×100 medley relay), one silver medal (100 meter butterfly), and one bronze medal (200 meter freestyle), Olympic Games, Seoul, South Korea
1990 Four gold medals (50 meter freestyle, 100 meter freestyle, 4×100 meter freestyle relay, 4×100 meter medley relay) and one silver (100 meter butterfly), Goodwill Games, Seattle
1991 Three gold medals (100 meter freestyle, 4×100 meter freestyle relay, 4×100 meter medley relay) and one silver medal (50 meter freestyle), World Championships, Perth, Australia
1992 Two gold medals (4×100 meter freestyle relay, 4×100 meter medley relay) and one silver medal (50 meter freestyle), Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain
Matt Biondi - Chronology [next] [back] Matt Biondi - In And Out Of Retirement

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