John Naber (USA)
Honor Swimmer (1982)
FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1976 gold (100m, 200m backstroke; 2 relays), silver (200m freestyle); WORLD RECORDS: 6 (100m, 200m backstroke; 2 relays); AAU NATIONALS: 25 (100yd, 200yd backstroke, 1650yd freestyle; 7 relays); PAN AMERICAN GAMES: 1977 gold (500m freestyle; 100m, 200m backstroke); NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: 15 (100yd, 200yd backstroke; 500yd freestyle; 5 relays); WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1973 bronze 9200m backstroke); 1976 Southern California Athlete of the Year; 1976 World Male Swimmer of the Year; 1977 AAU Sullivan Award; 1977 Trophy of the International Committee for Fair Play (Warsaw, Poland).
Six foot-six inch John Naber (USA) was high man at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, winning 4 gold medals all in World Record time and taking a silver in the 200 meter freestyle behind his USC teammate Bruce Furniss, who set a world Record to beat Naber. John’s honors were highlighted but not limited to the Olympics. He entered competitive swimming at age 13, won 25 AAU titles and holds the record of 10 individual and 15 NCAA relay titles in his four years of college (1974-77). In milestone achievements, Naber was the first man under 2 minutes for the 200 meter milestone achievements. Naber was the first man under 2 minutes for the 200 meter back, the first under 1:50 for 200 yd. back, the first under 50 seconds for the 100 yard back, and the first under 56 seconds for the 100 meter back. He won the Sullivan Award as the USA’s No. 1 athlete in 1977, was 1976 Southern California Athlete of the year, 1976 World Male Swimmer of the year, and was even named USA Sportsman of the year by the USSR’s Tass News Agency. As an indication of things to come after competition, as an inspiration to to other swimmers, he was the first American swimmer awarded the Trophy of the International Committee for Fair Play in Paris, France for the year 1977. He pays his debts to swimming every day with his inspirational speaking tours, sportscasting, and as a consultant to MacDonald’s in the sponsorship of age group swimming, and a traveling ambassador for Speedo. He is also a member of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games Organizing Committee. He lived it and tells it like it was and has a message for everyone. John Naber makes us all feel like we could be winners!