Speedo, the division of Warnaco Swimwear, Inc., announced the extension of its long-time partnership with 11-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin through 2013. Coughlin, the most decorated female swimmer in Athens and Beijing, has worn Speedo swimwear her entire career and will continue to represent the brand as she looks ahead to London.
After an 18-month break from swimming following the Beijing Games -which included a Hollywood star-making turn on ABC’s hit show “Dancing with the Stars” – Coughlin returned to competition at the Austin Grand Prix, March 4-6, where she raced in the new Speedo LZR Racer Elite Suit.
A Team Speedo star since 2004, Coughlin is aiming to make her third Olympic team in 2012 where she would have the opportunity to become the most decorated American female swimmer of all time – with 11 Olympic medals earned in two Olympics, Coughlin is only one medal shy of Jenny Thompson’s record 12 medals (earned in four Olympics), the most in swimming history.
A veteran on the U.S. team and a leader in the sport, the upcoming Austin Grand Prix marked Coughlin’s first meet back in the pool since her medal record-breaking performance at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where she made history as the first U.S. female swimmer to win six medals at a single Olympics and the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic titles in her specialty, the 100m backstroke.
“Speedo’s support both in and out of the pool has helped me grow into the swimmer I am today,” said Coughlin. “I have been a part of the Speedo family my entire professional career and I am proud to continue to represent the brand as I look ahead to London.”
“Natalie is not only one of the most decorated swimmers of all time, but she is a truly great ambassador for the sport of swimming,” said Helen McCluskey, President, Warnaco Swimwear Group.
Coughlin has won a medal in every single Olympic event she’s ever entered and left both the 2008 and 2004 Olympic Games as the most decorated female athlete with six and five medals respectively. She won gold in the 100m backstroke, silver in the 400m free relay, 800m free relay and 400m medley relay, and bronze in the 100m freestyle and 200m IM in Beijing. At the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Coughlin won five medals, then a new record, including gold in the 100m backstroke and the 800m free relay, silver in the 400m free relay and 400m medley relay, and bronze in the 100m free. She also left the 2007 World Championships as the most decorated female swimmer in World Championship history.
Outside of the pool, Coughlin’s commitment to a natural lifestyle and green living is furthered by her passions of surfing, cooking, health & fitness and photography.
Team Speedo swimmers include Olympic Medalists Michael Phelps (USA), Ryan Lochte (USA), Katie Hoff (USA), Libby Trickett (AUS), Eamon Sullivan (AUS), Park Tae Hwan (KOR) and Rebecca Adlington (GBR).