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John Naber

Athletic Awards and Honors

Naber’s swimming career was brief when compared to most, but his accomplishments still stand the test of time.

Olympic Games
Collegiate Career
Other Awards and Honors
Halls of Fame

1976 Olympic Games, Montreal

John Naber became America’s most decorated athlete at the 1976 Games in Montreal, winning four gold and one silver medal. He set six world records over his career, and the 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.

100 Meter Backstroke, Gold Medal, World Record
200 Meter Backstroke, Gold Medal, World Record
200 Meter Freestyle, Silver Medal
400 Meter Medley Relay, Gold Medal, World Record
800 Meter Free relay, Gold Medal, World Record

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.

Collegiate Career

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.

A record 10 individual NCAA titles (in 12 swims) plus five relay titles
Four National NCAA Team Titles (1974-1977)
USC was undefeated in dual-meet, conference or national level competition during all his four years.
Naber was undefeated in backstroke in four years of NCAA competition

Other Awards and Honors

James E. Sullivan Award (the nation’s top amateur athlete)
Three times Robert J. Kiputh Award Winner (National High Point Award)
1977 UNESCO / Pierre De Coubertain Fair Play Trophy
NCAA Top 5 Scholar-Athlete Award
Member, Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee
Olympic Flagbearer, 1984
Olympic torch-bearer, 1986,1996,2002

Naber was elected to two terms (1996-2000, 2000-2004) 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.

Halls of Fame
US Olympic Committee Hall of Fame
International Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame
USC Sports Hall of Fame
Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame

To find out more about John Naber’s broadcasting or speaking services, or to view video clips featuring John Naber, click on your choice of subject links below.

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