Rowdy Gaines

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Rowdy Gaines
Rowdy Gaines 1983.jpg
Rowdy Gaines in 1983
Personal information
Full nameAmbrose Gaines IV
Nickname(s)"Rowdy"
National teamUnited States
Born (1959-02-17) February 17, 1959 (age 62)
Winter Haven, Florida
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight161 lb (73 kg)
Sport
SportSwimming
StrokesFreestyle
College teamAuburn University
Medal record
Representing the  United States
Men's swimming
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles 100 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles 4×100 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles 4×100 m medley
World Championships (LC)
Gold medal – first place 1978 Berlin 4×100 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1978 Berlin 4×200 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1982 Guayaquil 4×100 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1982 Guayaquil 4×200 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1982 Guayaquil 4×100 m medley
Silver medal – second place 1978 Berlin 200 m freestyle
Silver medal – second place 1982 Guayaquil 100 m freestyle
Silver medal – second place 1982 Guayaquil 200 m freestyle
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 1979 San Juan 200 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1979 San Juan 4×100 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1979 San Juan 4×200 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1983 Caracas 100 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1983 Caracas 4×100 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1983 Caracas 4×200 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1983 Caracas 4×100 m medley
Bronze medal – third place 1983 Caracas 200 m freestyle

Ambrose "Rowdy" Gaines IV (born February 17, 1959) is an American former competitive swimmer, U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame member, three-time Olympic gold medalist, and member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a swimming analyst for television network NBC.[1] He has covered swimming at the Olympic Games since 1992 in Barcelona.[2]

Biography[edit]

Gaines was born in Winter Haven, Florida, to Jettie Ann and Ambrose "Buddy" Gaines, who met there as water skiers at Cypress Gardens in the 1950s.[3] Gaines tried several sports during his teenage years, but turned to swimming as a Winter Haven High School junior[4] at age 17.[5] He received a swimming scholarship to Auburn University. At Auburn, he became a five-time NCAA champion under the training of head coach Richard Quick.

From 1978 to 1984, Gaines set 10 world records. At the time he was the world record holder in the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyles. The 1980 boycott prevented Gaines from competing at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Gaines said the boycott came at a time when he considered himself at his peak, and that he believed he missed an opportunity for four gold medals.[6]

Gaines qualified for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. He won gold in the 100-meter freestyle and two gold medals for relays, swimming the anchor legs for the U.S. team in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay and 4×100-meter medley relay.[7]

Gaines said he experienced mental-health issues after missing out on the 1980 Games and had "some real trouble post-Olympics, and...some big struggles, especially the year after."[8]

He began covering swimming for NBC at the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics. He also was the analyst at the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics, the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics, the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, the London 2012 Summer Olympics, the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, and the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics held in 2021.[2][8]

At the 2011 Short Course Masters Nationals, Gaines broke his national record in the 50–54 division 50 yard freestyle (21.36).[9] On July 16, 2011, Gaines broke the 50–54 Age Group record in the long course 100m freestyle with a time of 54.6.[10]

Gaines is the executive director of Rowdy’s Kidz, a wellness initiative developed and supported by The Limu Company that reaches out to children across the country.[4]

Gaines and his wife, Judy, reside in Lake Mary, Florida, with their four daughters.[4]

Awards[edit]

  • International Swimming Hall of Fame[11]
  • U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame
  • Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
  • Florida Sports Hall of Fame[12]
  • 1982 McDonald's Spirit Award[12]
  • 2007 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award[12]
  • Southeastern Conference Athlete of the Year 1981

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Team USA". Team USA. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Rowdy Gaines". NBC Sports Pressbox. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  3. ^ "Obituary of Jettie Ann Gaines | Steele's Family Funeral Services". steelesfamilyfuneralservices.com. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "ROWDY GAINES". NBC Sports Group Press Box. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  5. ^ "5 Questions with...Rowdy Gaines". RSN. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  6. ^ "Rowdy Gaines: The Importance of Swimming Regret-Free". YourSwimLog.com. October 23, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  7. ^ Rowdy Gaines Archived November 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. sports-reference.com
  8. ^ a b "Transcript: Summer Olympics 2021: Rowdy Gaines". The Washington Post. July 22, 2021. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  9. ^ "Results". Archived from the original on May 4, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). 2011 Spring National Championships. usms.org
  10. ^ Keith, Braden (July 16, 2011). "In Briefs: Rowdy Gaines Breaks Masters World Record in Japan | SwimmersCircle | Where Swimmers, Coaches and Fans Belong". SwimmersCircle. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011.
  11. ^ International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees, Rowdy Gaines (USA). Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c "Former Auburn Swimmers Denniston and Gaines Receive NCAA Awards". Auburn University Athletic Department. January 7, 2007. Retrieved January 8, 2007.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]


Records
Preceded by
Chris Cavanaugh
Men's 50-meter freestyle
world record-holder (long course)

April 10, 1980 – April 10, 1980
Succeeded by
Bruce Stahl
Preceded by
Jonty Skinner
Men's 100-meter freestyle
world record-holder (long course)

April 3, 1981 – August 6, 1985
Succeeded by
Matt Biondi
Preceded by
Sergey Kopliakov
Men's 200-meter freestyle
world record-holder (long course)

April 11, 1980 – June 21, 1983
Succeeded by
Michael Gross
Awards
Preceded by
None
Swimming World
World Swimmer of the Year

1980
Succeeded by
Alex Baumann