John Naber

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John Naber
John Naber 2016.jpg
Naber in 2016
Personal information
Full name John Phillips Naber
National team United States
Born (1956-01-20) January 20, 1956 (age 61)
Evanston, Illinois
Height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight 194 lb (88 kg)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Backstroke, freestyle
Club Ladera Oaks Swim Club
College team University of Southern California

John Phillips Naber (born January 20, 1956) is an American former competition swimmer, five-time Olympic medalist, and former world record-holder in multiple events.

Naber was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois. After graduating from Woodside High School in California,[1] he attended the University of Southern California, where he completed his bachelor's degree in psychology in 1977. While he was at USC, Naber helped lead the USC Trojans swimming team to four consecutive NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships.

Naber won four gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec. Each of these victories was swum in world-record time.

One of Naber's gold medals was for the first 200-meter backstroke swam in under two minutes,[2] and his winning time of one minute and 59.19 seconds set a world record that stood for seven years. His world record of 55.49 second in the 100 meter backstroke also stood for seven years.[3]

For these accomplishments in Montreal and elsewhere, Naber won the 1977 James E. Sullivan Award, which is presented to the top American amateur athlete of the year. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an "Honor Swimmer" in 1982.

In the year following his gold medal victories, 1977, Naber joined Walt Disney as a marketing representative, then became a full-time "roving ambassador" for the swimwear maker Speedo.[4] Later, Naber worked as a sports broadcaster, motivational speaker, and professional writer.[2]

In May 2014, John Naber was inducted into Woodside High School's Community Hall of Fame.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Community Hall of Fame". Woodside High School. John Naber, Inducted 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2017. John Naber graduated as a scholar athlete from Woodside High School in 1973. 
  2. ^ a b Cousineau, Phil (2003). The Olympic Odyssey: Rekindling the True Spirit of the Great Games. Quest Books. p. 161. ISBN 0835608336. 
  3. ^ "Britannica Library". (Registration required (help)). 
  4. ^ Draper, Dick (22 November 1977). "Swim Suit Salesman: Naber Succumbs - He's a Pro" (Clipping). The Times. San Mateo, California. p. 17. Retrieved 17 August 2017 – via 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Roland Matthes
Men's 100-meter backstroke
world record-holder (long course)

July 18, 1976 – August 6, 1983
Succeeded by
Rick Carey
Preceded by
Roland Matthes
Men's 200-meter backstroke
world record-holder (long course)

June 19, 1976 – August 3, 1983
Succeeded by
Rick Carey
Preceded by
Tim Shaw
Swimming World
World Swimmer of the Year

Succeeded by
Brian Goodell