17-year-old stuns world with 100-meter backstroke win in quest for 7 medals
About John Naber
John Naber became America's most decorated athlete at the 1976 Games in Montreal, winning four gold medals and one silver medal. He set six world records over his career, and the four records he set at the Olympics lasted an amazing seven years after his retirement. He was also the first swimmer in history to win two individual Olympic medals on the same day of competition.
Naber was the first backstroker to break the 2 minute barrier in the 200 meter backstroke, the first to break the 50 seconds in the 100 yard distance, the first to break 1:50.00 at 200 yards, and was the first and last Olympic backstroker to travel any distance faster than the existing butterfly world record.
For four years, Naber was the top point scorer at the NCAA National Championships, leading his school (USC Trojans) to his and their fourth undefeated season and national title, while earning a record ten individual titles and five relay crowns. He also earned the sport's high point award (Robert Kiputh Award) on three occasions, and earned the 1977 James E. Sullivan Award as America's top amateur athlete.
John was elected to two terms ('96-'00 and '00-'04) as President of the US Olympic Alumni Association, a collection of over 6,000 Olympic team members, nationwide. He was also chosen as the male captain of the "Xerox 100 Golden Olympians" in a nationwide USAToday poll.
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Naber has been inducted into four Halls of Fame, has served as a board member on the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, carried the Olympic Flag into the 1984 Opening Ceremonies in Los Angeles and was selected to carry the Olympic Flame in three different Olympic Torch Relays.
After his retirement from swimming, Naber quickly entered the broadcasting field, serving as expert analyst for his sport at local, national and International events. In 1986, Naber was promoted to the role of play-by-play announcer, where he has covered over 35 different sports filing reports from eight different Olympic Games.
Naber is the regular sidelines reporter at the Annual Tournament of Roses Parade on ABC Sports, and also served as the host of "The Dream League" (a sports-related game show) on ESPN. Naber even worked television outside of the sporting arena, serving as the host of "The American Small Business Awards" and was a judge at various televised talent competitions.
John also serves as the chairman of "Character Counts! Sports," an organization devoted to sports-based character education that teaches ethics and character development to schools, clubs and other community organizations.
For over a quarter century, Naber has delighted audiences with his stories of ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary results in the area of life that is most important to them. Standing ovations attest to his ability to customize his remarks with humor, personal anecdotes and "Power Paragraphs" appropriate for each occasion. Naber consistently receives "gold medal reviews" from each of his clients.
What has made him a successful motivational speaker is that John has conceptualized an effective eight-step method (which he calls the "Gold Medal Process") by which all people can see their dreams come true. His wide variety of Olympic stories involving discipline, dedication, sacrifice and teamwork, can make anyone feel like "going for the gold." Naber uses his experience as an athlete and a television commentator to draw analogies between the graphic world of sports and the less easily seen battleground of business.
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