Allison Wagner

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Allison Wagner
Personal information
Full name Allison Marie Wagner
Nationality  United States
Born (1977-07-21) July 21, 1977 (age 37)
Gainesville, Florida
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Weight 117 lb (53 kg)
Sport
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Individual medley
Club Florida Aquatics Swim Team (FAST)
College team University of Florida

Allison Marie Wagner (born July 21, 1977) is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic medalist, and former world record-holder.

Early years[edit]

Wagner was born in Gainesville, Florida.[1] Her parents required her and her two brothers to participate in sports.[2] Her brothers picked American football and soccer; she attempted ballet, softball and soccer before discovering that she was good at swimming.[1][2] At the age of 7, she began her competition swimming career in Berlin, Germany, where her father was stationed in the U.S. Army.[2] After her father retired from army service, her family moved to Gainesville, and she attended the International Baccalaureate program at Eastside High School in Gainesville.[1] While in high school, Wagner swam for the Eastside swim team for one semester, and trained for national and international competition with the Florida Aquatics club team under coach Kevin Thornton.[1]

Swimming career[edit]

Wagner won the gold medal in the 200-meter individual medley and the silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley at the 1993 FINA Short Course World Championships in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Her winning time in the 200-meter medley (2:07.79) stood as the world record in the event for over fourteen years until Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry broke it at the World Short Course Championships in April 2008 in Manchester, England, when Coventry clocked 2:06.13.

Swimming World magazine named Wagner as its American Swimmer of the Year in January 1994—when she was only 16 years old.[3] At the 1994 U.S. long-course championships held in August 1994, she won the national titles in the 200-meter and 400-meter individual medley events, as well as the 200-meter breaststroke.[4]

Wagner graduated early from high school to accept an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville,[1] where she swam for coach Chris Martin and coach Kevin Thornton's Florida Gators swimming and diving teams in National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) competition from 1995 to 1998.[5] As a Gator swimmer, she won seven Southeastern Conference (SEC) titles and the 1995 NCAA title in the 400-yard individual medley.[5] Wagner was named the SEC Female Swimmer of the Year in 1995 and 1996 and the Gators' Most Valuable Swimmer in 1996, and received eleven All-American honors.[5]

At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, Wagner won the silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley, finishing second behind Ireland's Michelle Smith.[6] Four days later, she swam in the 200-meter individual medley and finished sixth.[6]

On several occasions during Wagner's career, she was beaten in major championships by swimmers who were highly suspected or later proven to be users of banned performance-enhancing substances. Besides Michelle Smith in the 1996 Olympics, Wagner finished second behind China's Dai Guohong in the 1993 Short Course World Championships (200-meter individual medley) and China's Lü Bin at the 1994 Worlds (both 200-meter and 400-meter individual medley). Dai never failed a drug test, but Lu tested positive a few weeks after beating Wagner. Nevertheless, Lu was allowed to keep her 200-meter individual medley gold medal.

Wagner retired from competition swimming in 2000, but attempted a comeback in 2006–07.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Julian Pleasants, "Allison Wagner," University of Florida Oral History Project, George A. Smathers Libraries, Gainesville, Florida (February 10, 1997). Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c John Oehser, "Allison Wagner: More than OK," Swimming World, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 39–42 (February 1994). Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  3. ^ "Swimming World's American Swimmers of the Year," Swimming World (undated). Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  4. ^ Associated Press, "Swimming: It's Business as Usual for Evans and Jager," Los Angeles Times (August 19, 1994). Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Florida Swimming & Diving 2011–12 Media Supplement, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 61, 62, 67, 69, 75–76, 79 (2011). Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Athletes, Allison Wagner. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  7. ^ Karen Crouse, "Near 30, Swimmer Resumes Sport for the Young," The New York Times (July 1, 2011). Retrieved July 30, 2011.

External links[edit]


Records
Preceded by
Not previously recognized
Women's 200-meter individual medley
world record-holder (short course)

December 5, 1993 – April 12, 2008
Succeeded by
Zimbabwe Kirsty Coventry
Awards
Preceded by
Jenny Thompson
Swimming World
American Swimmer of the Year

1994
Succeeded by
Amy Van Dyken