Janet Evans

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Despite her small size and unorthodox windmill stroke, Janet was a natural-born swimmer, completing laps by the age of two. In 1987, when she was 15 years old, Janet burst onto the international swimming scene, breaking world records in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle. A year later at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Janetwon Gold Medals in all three of her races: the 400mfreestyle, 800m freestyle, and 400m individualmedley, beating the powerful East German swimmers inthe process. In 1992 in Barcelona, Janet defended her gold in the 800m freestyle and added a silver in the 400m freestyle. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Janet swam in both the 400m and 800m freestyle but failed to medal. Janet broke a total of seven world records in three events (400m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle) during her career. Her 1500m world record stood for 20 years, her800m world record stood for 21 years, and her 400m world record stood for 19 years, making them some of the longest-standing records in swimming. Janet was inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004 and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2001. In 1989, she wasawarded the prestigious Sullivan Award as the United States’ topamateur athlete. In 2010, Janet mounted a comeback in the sport with the goal of competing at the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 400m and 800 m freestyle. She successfully qualified for the Trials and, at the age of 40, had the honor of trying out for the Olympic Team in, both events in July of 2012.


Once again a retired athlete, Janet lives in Southern California with her husband Billy and their two children, Sydney and Jake. Janet was extremely successful at a young age and was focused on winning. Through the a once in a lifetime experience at theAtlanta Olympic Games, carrying the torch and passing it on toMuhammad Ali to light the Olympic cauldron, she saw anotherside of the Olympic experience which changed her forever. Janet was selected to be the primary athlete voice of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Bid. As the Vice Chair of the BidCommittee and Head of the Athletes’ Commission, she will work closely with Paralympians and Olympians to ensure they are effectively represented in the city’s bid for the Games. With LAwinning the bid, Janet is serving as the Chief Athlete Officer forthe 2028 Games. She is a pro at delivering sponsor messaging and is very successful in her motivational speaking career and recently gavea TEDx talk. 

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