Jeffrey James Float (born April 10, 1960) is an American former competition swimmer, world record holder, world champion, and Olympic gold medalist. He qualified for the U.S Olympic swimming team in 1980, but could not participate in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow when the games wer boycotted by the United States; four years later, he competed at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. There he was named team captain by his teammates, earned a gold medal in the men's 4×200-meter freestyle relay, and finished fourth in the men's 200-meter freestyle event.
At 13 months of age, Float lost most of his hearing and nearly his life to viral meningitis. As the result, he is 90% deaf in his right ear and 65% in his left. He became the first legally deaf athlete from the United States to win an Olympic gold medal. When he emerged from the pool after swimming the third leg for the U.S. team in the 4x200-meter relay and shattering the world record by five seconds, he heard the roar of the crowd. "It was the first time I remember distinctively hearing loud cheers at a meet. I'll never forget what 17,000 screaming people sounds like. It was incredible!" Float said. He graduated from both Jesuit High School in Sacramento and obtained a bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in business administration from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Float is now employed by Spare Time, Inc., as the aquatics director at Gold River Racquet Club in Gold River, California. There he is the head coach of the Gold River Stingrays summer recreational team and personal trainer to swimmers of all levels. Float is also co-head coach of STAS (Spare Time Aquatics Sacramento), a USS year-round swim program. In addition to coaching, Jeff is a popular motivational speaker. He and his wife Jan Ellis Float are both active and longtime participants in Swim Across America, a national nonprofit organization which "Makes Waves to Fight Cancer."