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March 16, 2021

Mel Stewart: Certifiably Authentic, Episode #107, 3-16-21

Mel Stewart: Certifiably Authentic, Episode #107, 3-16-21

What does it mean to step into your authenticity, despite the risks? Olympic gold medalist and SwimSwam co-founder Mel Stewart returns to the show to talk with Kelly and Maria about his inspiration for swimming -- as a child and today -- and how the trauma of his early life and competitive drive have fed into his motivation, self-care and successes.

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“Gold medal” Mel Stewart is a 1992 Olympic gold medalist in the 200-meter butterfly and co-founder of SwimSwam. Mel has also worked as an Olympic analyst for ABC, NBC, ESPN,  and TBS. Since 2008, Mel has worked with USA Swimming as an ambassador. 

In addition to being an Olympic gold medalist, Mel was a World, American and NCAA record holder. He was a pioneer in becoming a professional swimmer back in 1991, when he turned pro after his junior year of college at the University of Tennessee.

Episode Topics and Mentions


Mel Stewart’s first interview on Champion’s Mojo

World War I

World War II


Dryland training

2021 Tokyo Olympics

Competitive drive




Alone time

EMDR (type of therapy)

Matt Biondi

Aaron Piersol

Rowdy Gaines

Heritage USA

Jim Bakker 

Tammy Faye Bakker 

RISE Athlete Mentoring




  1. It’s important to confront the trauma before we can experience calm and peace.
  2. With patience, hard work can outlast the competition, even when there is rest built in.


  1. Find time to just get quiet and tune into your thoughts. 
  2. Tapping your authenticity makes you powerful and people cannot ignore what you are doing.

Quote of the Week

“The beauty of swimming is that it does teach you patience; the beauty of swimming is that you can have what you want, but you’re going to have to take these teeny, tiny baby steps to get there.” -- Mel Stewart

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