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Theresa Andrews

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Theresa Andrews
Personal information
Full name Theresa Andrews
National team  United States
Born (1962-08-25) August 25, 1962 (age 53)
New London, Connecticut
Height 5 ft 5.5 in (1.67 m)
Weight 137 lb (62 kg)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Backstroke
Club North Baltimore Aquatic Club
College team Indiana University
University of Florida

Theresa Andrews (born August 25, 1962) is an American former competition swimmer and Olympic champion. Raised in Maryland, Andrews gained prominence as a national collegiate champion who competed for the University of Florida. In international competition, she was a backstroke specialist who won two gold medals at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Early years[edit]

Andrews was born in New London, Connecticut in 1962.[1] She grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, where she initially attended St. Mary's High School.[2] She was one of twelve children of Frank and Maxine Andrews; her father was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former U.S. Navy officer.[2] Andrews first trained in the Navy Junior Program as an age-group swimmer, and then moved to the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC), attending Archbishop Keogh High School in Baltimore, Maryland and staying with a succession of five sponsoring local families during her final two years of high school.[2][3] She later described her training regime as "six hours a day, six days a week ... training in a pool."[2] Andrews was among the first generation of elite swimmers to train under coach Murray Stephens at NBAC, a club that has produced a succession of Olympic swimmers after her, including Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff.[4][5] She was the first Olympic medalist produced by the club.[6]

College swimming career[edit]

Andrews accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and swam for the Indiana Hoosiers swimming and diving team in Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) and Big Ten Conference competition during the 1980–81 school year.[7] As a Hoosier swimmer, she won six Big Ten titles, and earned five All-American honors.[7][8]

After her freshman season, Andrews transferred to the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where she swam for coach Randy Reese's Florida Gators swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Southeastern Conference (SEC) competition in 1982 and 1983.[9] As a Gator, she was an eleven-time SEC champion, including the 50-yard backstroke (twice), 100-yard backstroke (twice), 200-yard backstroke, and six relays.[9] She was a three-time NCAA champion (twice in the 400-yard medley relay, and once in the 200-yard medley relay), and received a total of eighteen All-American honors.[9] The Gators won the 1982 NCAA women's team championship,[9] and the Gators' winning 400-yard medley relay team of Andrews, Amy Caulkins, Michele Kurtzman and Kathy Treible set a new American national record in the event of 3:40.99.[10] Andrews, together with teammates Kurtzman, Treible and Tracy Caulkins, won the NCAA 400-yard medley relay event again in 1983, and the Gators placed second overall at the NCAA championship tournament.[9]

1984 Olympic swimming[edit]

Andrews qualified to represent the United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where she won two gold medals.[11] She gained her first gold in the women's 100-meter backstroke, narrowly edging fellow American Betsy Mitchell by eight one-hundredths (.08) of a second – about five inches – for a final time of 1:02.55.[12][13] It was the first time she had ever beaten Mitchell.[14] She earned her second gold by swimming the lead-off backstroke leg for the first-place U.S. team in the women's 4×100-meter medley relay event, sharing the honors with her American teammates Tracy Caulkins (breaststroke), Mary T. Meagher (butterfly), and Nancy Hogshead (freestyle), and clocking a winning time of 4:08.34.[15][16] Her split time of 1:04.00 was slower than her gold-medal time in the individual 100-meter backstroke, but her teammates made good the difference to win and set a new American record in the event.[17]

Andrews later gave her first Olympic gold medal to her brother Danny in a private gathering, honoring him for his courage when he was paralyzed at the age of 19 after being struck by a car two years earlier.[14][18] After the Olympics, she retired from competitive swimming at the age of 21.[2][19]

Life after competition swimming[edit]

Andrews graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in therapeutic recreation in 1986,[20] and thereafter, from Ohio State University with a master's degree in clinical social work.[21] From 1992 to 1999, she worked as a clinical social worker in children's hematology and cancer treatment at the University of Virginia Health Science Center.[8][22] Andrews has worked for MBNA America and Bank of America since 1999; as a Bank of America vice president and market manager for consumer banking, she has oversees fifteen banking centers in Delaware and Pennsylvania.[8][23]

Andrews delivers motivational speeches for corporations, conferences, community groups and schools, usually on the topics of individual potential and the importance of teamwork in achieving goals, and drawing on the values of the Olympic movement.[21] She is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee,[21] and has served as a volunteer for the U.S. Olympic Alumni Association since 2004.[8] She is also a veteran celebrity swimmer for Swim Across America (SAA), a charitable organization that uses former Olympic swimmers to raise funds for cancer research, and has participated in SAA events for nine years.[21]

Andrews was inducted into the Maryland Swimming Hall of Fame as an "Honor Athlete" in 1987.[3][24] In 2008 she received the NCAA's Silver Anniversary Award, which recognizes successful former student-athletes who have excelled in their careers after graduation.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ John Lohn, Historical Dictionary of Competitive Swimming, Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, p. 93 (2010). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e John Staedman, "What Theresa Andrews has now is far more precious than gold," The Baltimore Sun (July 21, 1996). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Maryland Swimming Hall of Fame, Theresa Andrews. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  4. ^ Frank Fitzpatrick, "Maverick coach has made waves in swimming world," Philadelphia Inquirer (August 14, 2007). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Amy Shipley, "NBAC Keeps Drawing Elite Pool of Athletes," The Washington Post (June 22, 2009). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  6. ^ Amy Rosewater, "Baltimore the new Olympic swimming factory? Believe it, it's true," (July 29, 2008). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  7. ^ a b 2013–14 Indiana Hoosiers Women's Swimming and Diving, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, pp. 6, 10, 20, 28 (2013). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Former Gator Swimmer Theresa Andrews Receives NCAA Silver Anniversary Award," (January 13, 2008). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d e Florida Swimming & Diving 2014–15 Media Supplement, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 78, 79, 83, 84, 97, 91, 98 (2014). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  10. ^ Associated Press, "Caulkins Leads Lady Gator Swimmers," Ocala Star-Banner (March 20, 1982). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  11. ^, Olympic Sports, Athletes, Theresa Andrews. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  12. ^ Frank Litsky, "Swimming Gold Keeps Pouring In," Daytona Beach Morning Journal, p. 1B (August 1, 1984). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  13. ^, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games, Women's 100 metres Backstroke Final. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Denne H. Freeman, "U.S. Continuing Swim Domination," The Daily Sentinel, p. 11 (August 1, 1984). Retrieved July 11, 2015
  15. ^, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games, Women's 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay Final. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  16. ^ Associated Press, "U.S. Keeps Dominating Games," The Toledo Blade, p. 1 (August 4, 1984). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  17. ^ Jeff Commings, "Jon Sieben's 200 Fly Upset, Tracy Caulkins' Final Races Highlighted '84 Olympics 30 Years Ago Today," Swimming World Magazine (August 3, 2014). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  18. ^ Doug Brown, "Andrews' gold still appreciating; Annapolis swimmer added sentimental value in 1984," The Baltimore Sun (July 13, 1992). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  19. ^ Denne H. Freeman, "Tracy Caulkins announces retirement," The Gettysburg Times, p. 8 (August 6, 1984). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  20. ^ University of Florida Alumni Directory, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida (2000).
  21. ^ a b c d Swim Across America, Olympians, Theresa Andrews. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  22. ^ John Keilman, "Gold medalist swims in Olympic memories," The Capital, pp. A1 & A12 (July 29, 1996). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  23. ^ "Gold medalist Andrews swims to top ranks of B of A," Philadelphia Business Journal (August 18, 2008). Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  24. ^ "Sports Line: Swimmers Honored," The Capital, p. D2 (December 12, 1997). Retrieved July 11, 2015.

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