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Janet Evans Biography

Born In Fullerton, California, Hard Work Pays Off, Chronology, Continues To Break RecordsCONTACT INFORMATION


American swimmer

The first American woman to win four individual Olympic gold medals in swimming, Janet Evans first took to the water while still in diapers. At the very tender age of one, Evans went into the water at the North Orange County YMCA pool, not far from her home in Placentia, California. By the time the diminutive (5 feet, 4 inches and 99 pounds) Evans was 17, she had set three world records. At the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, her trademark bursts of speed in the pool carried her to gold in three individual Olympic swimming events: the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle swims and the 400-meter individual medley. Towards the end of each race, Evans would rapidly increase her stroke rate to propel her to a winning finish, often besting competitors as much as 60 pounds heavier and with longer arms and bodies. Evans, who qualified for the U.S. swim team at three successive Olympics (in 1988, 1992, and 1996), captured another gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and in the process became the first woman to win the 800-meter freestyle in two consecutive Olympics. Although she qualified for the American swim team at Atlanta in 1996, Evans never came close to medaling and retired from competitive swimming not long thereafter.


Address: Janet Evans, 8 Barneburg, Dove Canyon, CA 92679-4210.

Sketch by Don Amerman

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsSwimming