Debbie Meyer

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Debbie Meyer
Personal information
Full name Deborah Elizabeth Meyer
Nickname(s) "Debbie"
Nationality  United States
Born (1952-08-14) August 14, 1952 (age 62)
Annapolis, Maryland
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight 115 lb (52 kg)
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Freestyle
Club Arden Hills Swim Club

Deborah Elizabeth Meyer (born August 14, 1952) is an American former competition swimmer, a three-time Olympic champion, and a former world record-holder at three distances. Meyer won the 200-, 400-, and 800-meter freestyle swimming races in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. While she was still a 16-year old student at Rio Americano High School in Sacramento, California, she became the first swimmer to win three individual gold medals in one Olympics.[1]

Meyer is still the only woman Olympian to win three individual freestyle swimming gold medals in one Olympics. No female swimmer has ever done this in any other combination of distances.


Meyer set world records in 200-meter, 400-meter, and 800-meter freestyle swimming events at the U.S. Olympics trials. Her winning times at the Olympic Games were 2:10.5 for the 200-meter, 4:31.8 for the 400-meter, and 9:24.0 for the 800-meter distances, all of them new or first-time Olympic records.

In 1968, the women's freestyle races at 200-meter and 800-meter distances were added to the Summer Olympics for the first time. Before this, the longest race for women was the 400-meter freestyle, despite the fact that the male competitors had had the 1,500-meter freestyle race (the metric mile) for decades, dating back to 1896.

While overcoming her problems with asthma, Meyer broke twenty world records in swimming during her career. All of this put her into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 1986.[2]

Meyer broke 24 American records and won 19 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national championships. In 1968, she won the James E. Sullivan Award. In 1969, she was named Associated Press Athlete of the Year. In 1972, Meyer retired from competitive swimming.

On July 5, 2004, Meyer was inducted into the American National High School Hall of Fame. In memory of her Olympic achievements, Meyer has ordered and used the custom California automobile license plate "3GOLD68".

Meyer is married to Bill Weber. She owns the Debbie Meyer Swim School in Carmichael, California. According to the business website, Meyer has taught swimming in the area around Sacramento, California since the 1970s, and she opened her own school in 1993. Along with teaching both children and adults to be safe in the water Meyer is coaching the Truckee Tahoe Swim Team in Truckee, California.

Meyer has a daughter, son, and step-daughter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AHEAD OF HER TIME DEBBIE MEYER DIDN'T CASH IN ON OLYMPIC SUCCESS, BUT SHE'S A HALL OF FAMER", The Sacramento Bee, September 20. 1987. Accessed November 29, 2007. "The swimmer was Debbie Meyer, then a 16-year-old Rio Americano High School student."
  2. ^ U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 1986, United States Olympic Team.[dead link]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Patty Caretto
Women's 1,500-meter freestyle
world record holder (long course)

July 9, 1967 – December 12, 1971
Succeeded by
Shane Gould