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United States of AmericaUnited States of America, USA


Further Personal Information

Date of birth
12 March 1987
183 cm
71 kg
Husband Dominik Meichtry
Long Beach, CA, USA
Higher education
Communications - University of California: Berkeley, CA, USA

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age five at a community pool in Long Beach, CA, United States of America.
Why this sport?
She noticed a team swimming at her local pool and asked her mother if she could join them.

General Interest

Jess (USA Swimming, 17 Jan 2007)
Awards and honours
She received a Golden Goggle Award as USA Swimming's Breakout Performer of the Year in 2005, and received the Perseverance Award at the same event in 2012. (University of California Bears, 17 Jan 2007;, 19 Nov 2012)
Famous relatives
Her mother Denise was a swimmer at Indiana State University. Her grandfather John Tourtellot was on the rowing team at Columbia University, while her other grandfather invented the diamond tip needle for record players. Her husband Dominik Meichtry has represented Switzerland in swimming. (SportsDeskOnline, 29 Feb 2016; Twitter profile, 23 Feb 2016;, 10 Nov 2014; USA Swimming, 17 Jan 2007)
Other information
She retired from swimming after the 2016 US Olympic Trials in July 2016. (, 08 Aug 2016)

In November 2015 she released her autobiography, 'Swimming Toward the Gold Lining'. The book focuses on her career and the doping suspension she received in 2008. "I was surprised at how difficult it was to write it. I had to relive a lot of pain, but my overall goal was to try to relay my story in a way that can inspire others. I found the good through some very difficult obstacles, and I know that there are a lot of people out there who could use some inspiration though their own tough times. The pain of writing the book is worth it if I can help just one of those people." (, 14 Jan 2016;, 11 Nov 2015)

After qualifying for the US team ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games, she tested positive for clenbuterol and voluntarily left the team. The substance typically carries a two-year ban, but she ended up serving a one-year ban after she explained to the American Arbitration Association [AAA] that her positive test was a result of a tainted nutritional supplement. She discovered in 2011 that the International Olympic Committee [IOC] ruled she would not be subjected to the ban that prevents athletes who have been suspended for more than six months for doping from competing at the next Olympic Games. Following the 2008 ban, she suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. (, 02 Oct 2011;, 01 Aug 2008)

At age three she fell into a swimming pool at a party and stayed below the surface for approximately 30 seconds. She was rescued by a party goer who dived in and pulled her out of the water. She now supports the 'Make a Splash' campaign to raise awareness and educate children about the dangers of water. "It could have ended my life but a friend jumped in to save me. The next day my mother put me into swim lessons." (, 08 Aug 2014)