6 Podcasting Awards in 4 years! Top ranked Swimming Podcast by Chartable/Apple! Inspiration & Insight for Masters Swimmers.
Feb. 15, 2022

Amanda Beard: Olympic Icon and Swimming Entrepreneur, Episode #139

Amanda Beard: Olympic Icon and Swimming Entrepreneur, Episode #139

Are you living in the present? Or stuck on past mistakes or future worries?

Swimming legend Amanda Beard swam in four Olympics, but struggled silently with depression, bulimia and body dysmorphia. She joins the show to talk about how confiding in people she trusted helped her through her darkest days -- and how she now tries to engage with, and live inside, each moment. And how building out her business keeps her striving for important goals.

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Amanda Beard is a decorated American swimmer who qualified for four consecutive Olympics from 1996 to 2008, earning a total of seven Olympic medals. She set a world record in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2004 at US Olympic Trials, then became the Olympic Champion in that event in Athens a few months later. 

Besides being an NCAA Champion for the Arizona Wildcats and a 2X Pan Pac Champion, she was named a co-captain of the U.S. women’s Olympic swim team in Beijing in 2008. She’s been a model gracing the pages of some of the world’s biggest magazines and has been a TV sports correspondent.  

As a young woman, Amanda battled bulimia, body dysmorphia, depression and drug use throughout her swimming career, as described in her 2012 memoir In the Water They Can’t See You Cry

Since retiring from competition, Amanda has been busy teaching children to learn to swim through Beard Swim Co., a swim school in Gig Harbor, Washington, which she founded in 2017.  

Episode Topics and Mentions


Body dysmorphia




In the Water They Can’t See You Cry by Amanda Beard

Dave Salo

Lou Sharp

University of Arizona Wildcats

Frank Bush

Beard Swim Co.

Mel Stewart




  1. Connecting with other people is a champion trait. 
  2. Be in the now. Be present. Enjoy what is happening right now, in this moment. 


  1. Confidence and bravery look differently depending on the person -- and it comes from doing things that terrify you. 
  2. Whatever it is that’s inside you that is black and dark - talk about it. Let someone else who you trust help you through it.  

Quote of the Week

“Being a champion is really about being engaged with the people around you.” -- Amanda Beard

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