Four-time Olympic gold medalist, Swimming
Despite her small size and unorthodox windmill stroke, she 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 the 1500m freestyle.
A year later at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Janet won Gold Medals in all three of herraces: the 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, and 400m individual medley,beating the powerful East German swimmers in the 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 400mand 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 1500 meterworld record stoodfor 20 years, her 800m world record stood for 21 years, and her 400m world recordstood 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 was awarded the prestigious Sullivan Award as the United States’top amateur athlete.
In 2010, Janet mounted a comeback in the sport with the goal of competing at the Olympic Trials in 2012 in the 400m and 800m freestyle. She successfully qualifiedfor the Trials, and, at the age 40, had the honor of trying out for the Olympic Teamin both events in July of 2012.
Once againa retired athlete, Janet lives in Southern California with her husband Billy and their two children, Sydney (12) and Jake (9).
Janet was extremely successful at a young age and was focused on winning. Through the a once in a lifetime experience at the Atlanta Olympic Games, carrying the torch and passing it on to Muhammad Ali to light the Olympic cauldron, she saw another side of the Olympic experience which changed her forever.
More recently, in September of 2015, Janet was selected to be the primaryathlete voice of the Los Angeles 2024 Olympic Bid. As the Vice Chair of the Bid Committee 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 LA winning the bid, Janet will serve as a leader on the LA 2028 Planning Committee.
She is a pro at delivering sponsor messaging and is very successful in her motivational speaking career and recently gave a TEDx talk: Janet’s Ted Talk
As a mother of two children, Janet believes in raising her children in a healthy, active and safe manner. Eating right and getting physical activity are vital components, but she also believes in supporting her kids in a balanced and fun way. She wants them to explore a variety of activities from swimming to skiing in a supportive, non-pressurized environment.