Natalie Coughlin has long been called the golden girl of swimming. The 29-year-old, who has earned 11 Olympic medals, will have an opportunity to participate in her third Olympic Games in London. She's earned a spot as a member of the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. With another Olympic medal, Coughlin would tie Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres as the most decorated female American swimmers in history.
Name: Natalie Coughlin
Date of Birth: Aug. 23, 1982
Hometown: Lafayette, California
Birthplace: Vallejo, California
Height: 5 feet, 8 inches
Coach: Teri McKeever
Club: California Aquatics
Olympic Games: 2004, 2008, 2012
Olympic Medals: Coughlin has earned a total of 11 Olympic medals. At the 2004 Games, Coughlin won gold medals in the 100-meter backstroke and 4x200-meter medley relay, silver medals in the 4x100 freestyle relay and 4x100-meter medley relay, and a bronze medal in the 100-meter freestyle. At the 2008 Olympic Games, Coughlin won a gold medal in the 100 backstroke, silver medals in the 4x100 freestyle relay and 4x100 medley relay, and bronze medals in the 100 freestyle, 200-meter individual medley and the 4x200 freestyle relay.
Media appearances: Coughlin appeared on the 2009 season of "Dancing with the Stars," where she danced with Alec Mazo and was eliminated during the fifth episode. She's appeared as a judge on "Iron Chef America," and she's cooked meals on the "TODAY" show, according to her USA Swimming biography. Coughlin also acted as an on-air commentator during the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
Book: "Golden Girl: How Natalie Coughlin Fought Back, Changed Conventional Wisdom and Became America's Olympic Champion." Coughlin wrote the book with Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated.
FAMILY AND EDUCATION
College: University of California-Berkeley, 2005. Coughlin studied psychology.
High School: Carondelet, 2000
Spouse: Nathan Hall. Coughlin and Hall married in 2009.
Parents: James and Zennie
Siblings: Megan, younger sister
Hobbies: Cooking, photography, surfing, gardening. Coughlin is known for her green and nutritional cooking.
Charities: Women's Sports Foundation, Tobacco-Free Kids and Right to Play.
Music: Counting Crows
TV Show: "Lost, Nip/Tuck," "Heroes "
U.S. City: San Francisco
International City: Sydney
More about Natalie Coughlin's Career: Coughlin has swam in 11 Olympic races, and she's earned 11 Olympic medals. She became the first woman to win consecutive gold medals in the 100 backstroke when she won the event at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, and she became the first woman to swim faster than 59 seconds in the event at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. Coughlin had hoped to try to defend her title for a third time at the 2012 Olympic Games, but she failed to qualify for the American team in the event at the U.S. Olympic trials.
Sandra Johnson was a competitive swimmer for more than 15 years before she began coaching. She is a longtime Olympic fan, and while working for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo., she had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46