|Full name||Ambrose Gaines IV|
|National team||United States|
|Born||February 17, 1959|
Winter Haven, Florida
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||161 lb (73 kg)|
|College team||Auburn University|
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. He has covered swimming at the Olympic Games since 1992 in Barcelona.
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. Gaines tried several sports during his teenage years, but turned to swimming as a Winter Haven High School junior at age 17. 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.
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.
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."
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.
At the 2011 Short Course Masters Nationals, Gaines broke his national record in the 50–54 division 50 yard freestyle (21.36). On July 16, 2011, Gaines broke the 50–54 Age Group record in the long course 100m freestyle with a time of 54.6.
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.
- International Swimming Hall of Fame
- U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame
- Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
- Florida Sports Hall of Fame
- 1982 McDonald's Spirit Award
- 2007 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award
- Southeastern Conference Athlete of the Year 1981
- List of members of the International Swimming Hall of Fame
- List of Auburn University people
- List of multiple Olympic gold medalists
- List of multiple Olympic gold medalists at a single Games
- List of Olympic medalists in swimming (men)
- List of World Aquatics Championships medalists in swimming (men)
- World record progression 50 metres freestyle
- World record progression 100 metres freestyle
- World record progression 200 metres freestyle
- World record progression 4 × 100 metres freestyle relay
- World record progression 4 × 100 metres medley relay
- World record progression 4 × 200 metres freestyle relay
- "Team USA". Team USA. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
- "Rowdy Gaines". NBC Sports Pressbox. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
- "Obituary of Jettie Ann Gaines | Steele's Family Funeral Services". steelesfamilyfuneralservices.com. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
- "ROWDY GAINES". NBC Sports Group Press Box. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
- "5 Questions with...Rowdy Gaines". RSN. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
- "Rowdy Gaines: The Importance of Swimming Regret-Free". YourSwimLog.com. October 23, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
- Rowdy Gaines Archived November 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. sports-reference.com
- "Transcript: Summer Olympics 2021: Rowdy Gaines". The Washington Post. July 22, 2021. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
- "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
- 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.
- International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees, Rowdy Gaines (USA). Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Former Auburn Swimmers Denniston and Gaines Receive NCAA Awards". Auburn University Athletic Department. January 7, 2007. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
- Caraccioli, Jerry, & Tom Caraccioli, Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, New Chapter Press, Washington, D.C. (2009). ISBN 978-0-942257-54-0.
- De George, Matthew, Pooling Talent: Swimming's Greatest Teams, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland (2014). ISBN 978-1-4422-3701-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rowdy Gaines.|
- Rowdy Gaines Official Bio at the Wayback Machine (archived May 23, 2009)
- Gaines' Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary essay