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Athletes

Natalie
Coughlin
United States of AmericaUnited States of America, USA
Swimming

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
23 August 1982
Height
173 cm
Family
Husband Ethan Hall, daughter Zennie Mae [2018]
Residence
San Francisco, CA, USA
Occupation
Athlete, Business Owner
Languages
English
Higher education
Psychology - University of California, Berkeley : United States

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took her first swimming lesson at age 10 months. She entered her first competition at age six.
Why this sport?
She joined the swim team to make friends.

International Debut

Year
1999
Competing for
United States
Tournament
Pan Pacific Championships
Location
Australia

General Interest

Hobbies
Cooking, surfing, photography, running, pilates, gardening. (Facebook page, 11 Dec 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning a gold medal in the 100m backstroke at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. (Facebook page, 11 Dec 2018)
Most influential person in career
Coach Teri McKeever. (digitaljournal.com, 25 Feb 2019)
Hero / Idol
US chef Alice Waters. (Facebook page, 11 Dec 2018)
Injuries
After the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens an ankle injury sidelined her for a few months. She was able to train and compete again by 2005. (natalie-coughlin.com, 06 Dec 2007)

She suffered from a fever that affected her performance at the 2003 World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. (bcn2013.com, 02 Jul 2013)

She was diagnosed with a torn labrum muscle in her left shoulder in March 1999. She underwent months of treatment to heal the injury, opting to undertake physical therapy instead of surgery. (usatoday.com, 2004)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
“I would try to imagine as many details as possible and engage all of my senses in this visualisation practice.” (swimswam.com, 06 Mar 2019
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Life's ups and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals. Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want." (Facebook page, 11 Dec 2018)
Awards and honours
In 2019 she was inducted into the Pac-12 Conference Hall of Honor. (mercurynews.com, 07 Mar 2019)

She was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014. (mercurynews.com, 07 Mar 2019)

Throughout her competitive swimming career, she was the winner of seven Golden Goggle Awards. (digitaljournal.com, 25 Feb 2019)

She received the Sports Illustrated Female Athlete of the Year Award in 2004. (US Swimming, 31 Jan 2007)

During her collegiate career at University of California, Berkeley, United States of America, she was named NCAA and Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year from 2001-03. (mercurynews.com, 07 Mar 2019)

In 2002 she was named Female Swimmer of the Year by US Swimming and Swimming World Magazine. (US Swimming, 11 Mar 2004)
Milestones
She was the first woman in Olympic history to win back-to-back 100m backstroke titles [2004 and 2008]. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, she became the first US female athlete to win six medals at a single Games. She was also the first female swimmer to swim the 100m backstroke in under one minute. (nataliecoughlin.com, 2017; SportsDeskOnline, 11 Dec 2018; cbc.ca, 17 Aug 2008)
Famous relatives
Her younger sister Megan swam for the University of California, Davis in the United States of America. Her husband Ethan Hall has worked as a swim coach. (espn.go.com, 10 Jul 2015; USA Swimming, 19 Jul 2012; SFGate.com, 06 Nov 2011)
Other information
RETURN TO COMPETITIVE SWIMMING
After missing the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and giving birth to her daughter Zennie in 2018, she returned to competitive swimming by signing with DC Trident in the International Swimming League [ISL] in June 2019. “Many people assumed that I was retired, but I very purposefully never retired. I knew swimming was still a big part of my life. At the time, the ISL didn't exist, but as it became a thing, I was paying attention to it. I never really considered being a part of it until Kaitlin [Sandeno] asked me. I had just had a baby a few months before. It is something that is really exciting for me. It is something to keep me in the swimming world.” (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 11 Jun 2019; Instagram profile, 18 Oct 2018)

OTHER ROLES
She is a member of the board of directors at USA Swimming. She also serves as an athlete advisory council representative at the United States Olympic Committee. (LinkedIn profile, 10 Oct 2018)

COOKBOOK PUBLICATION
She published her first cookbook named "Cook to Thrive: Recipes to Fuel Body and Soul" in 2019. "With a cookbook, I can share that love of food and share some stories from my career. Yes, I'm an Olympic athlete, but I like to indulge from time to time, which is the whole point of the cookbook, balance.” (houstonchronicle.com, 04 Jun 2019)

WINERY
She is the co-founder of Gaderian Wines, a winery in Napa, CA, United States of America. "I started a winery with a friend and wine-maker. That is called Gaderian Wines. The word 'gaderian' is an old English word for gather. The idea is that you gather around the table to enjoy food and wine, so that is the inspiration for the name." (Instagram profile, 22 Nov 2018; foodandwine.com, 19 Dec 2017; digitaljournal.com, 17 Jan 2018; teamusa.org, 18 Oct 2018)