Jeff Float

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jeff Float
Personal information
Full name Jeffrey James Float
Nickname(s) "Jeff"
National team  United States
Born (1960-04-10) April 10, 1960 (age 55)
Buffalo, New York
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 187 lb (85 kg)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle
Club Arden Hills Swim Club
College team University of Southern California

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,[1] 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 4×200-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.[2] 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.[3]

Float garnered ten gold medals in ten events at the 1977 World Games for the Deaf in Bucharest, Romania; a silver medal in 400-meter freestyle at the 1978 World Aquatics Championships in Berlin; and a gold medal in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay at the 1982 World Aquatics Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

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."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1984 Olympics – Los Angeles, United States – Swimming" (Retrieved on May 6, 2008)
  2. ^ World Class Speakers & Entertainers - Jeff Float, Swimmer
  3. ^ USC OLYMPIANS: 1904-2008, USC Trojans Athletic Department, Accessed August 26, 2008.


External links[edit]