Shirley Babashoff
Team USASwimming

Shirley Babashoff

Two-time Olympian (1972, 1976); nine-time Olympic medalist (3 golds, 6 silvers) Munich 1972, gold (4x100-meter freestyle, 4x100 medley), silver (100 freestyle, 200 freestyle) Montreal 1976, gold (4x100 freestyle), silver (200 freestyle, 400 freestyle, 800 freestyle, 4x100 medley)

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    Athlete Bio

    Shirley Babashoff


    Fountain Valley, CA


    Fountain Valley High School (Fountain Valley, Calif.)

    Daughter of Jack Babashoff and Vera Slivkoff...Has three siblings, Jack, Deborah and Bill, all of whom became competitive swimmers...Father, Jack, was a swim instructor...Set 37 national records throughout competitive career...Coached swimming at Fountain Valley High School and led to its first-ever California Interscholastic Federation Championship in girls’ swimming...Received the Olympic Order in 2005, the highest award of the Olympic Movement.

    Shirley Babashoff was an American swimmer who was one of the first two women to earn five swimming medals at a single Olympic Games. Babashoff competed at the Olympic Games Munich 1972 and the Montreal 1976 Games, earning two golds and two silvers in Munich, along with one gold and four silvers in Montreal. The nine-time Olympic medalist set six world records in individual swimming events and swam on five world-record relay teams for a total of 11 world records. Born in Whittier, California, Babashoff was the most successful U.S. female Olympian prior to the 1990s. She dominated the 1976 U.S. Olympic Trials, winning every freestyle event and the 4x100-meter individual medley, while setting the world record in the 800 freestyle. She published an autobiography in 2016 entitled, “Making Waves: My Journey to Winning Olympic Gold and Defeating the East German Doping Program.”
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