Spotlight: Janet Evans

Hello swimming enthusiasts!


I know it has been a while, but today I am back to highlight Janet Evans. What better way to showcase the power of women in swimming than a post dedicated to a woman whom many consider to be the best female swimmer of all time?


Janet Evans was born in Fullerton, California, and swam competitively from a very early age. At two years old, she was already swimming laps, and by three, she could swim at least half of an IM! Her first breakout performance was in 1987, when she was fifteen years old–she broke world records in the 400, 800, and 1500-meter freestyle events. The following year, she attended the Summer Olympics in Seoul, North Korea, winning three gold medals. By the end of her career, Evans had won four Olympic gold medals and seventeen international titles, and broken seven world records. Her 1500-meter freestyle record set in the 1988 Olympics stood for nineteen years, and she was the first woman to win Olympic and world championship titles in the same event in consecutive years.

Her small size, unorthodox windmill stroke, and seemingly endless supply of oxygen earned Evans even more attention. Evans came to be known as “Miss Perpetual Motion,” as she would take so many more strokes than her competitors in order to compensate for her small size. The windmill stroke, or straight-arm freestyle, is typically used in very short distances, because it can be so exhausting, as well as a strain on the shoulders. It must have taken so much energy for her to execute this type of freestyle in 400, 800, and 1500 meter swims! She is truly an inspiration for all of those smaller swimmers out there.

Today, Evans is still a major part of the swimming world. She is a motivational speaker, a commercial spokesperson, and even an author. Her book, “Janet Evans’ Total Swimming,” gives advice to swimmers both inside and outside of the pool. Janet Evans’ awe-inspiring impact on the swimming world clearly demonstrates the power of women in swimming.




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