MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel’s best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly.
As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, and USA Swimming. Mel has also worked as an Olympic analyst for ABC, NBC, EPSN, FOX SPORTS and TBS.
Mel Stewart is a co-founder of SwimSwam.com where he manages all advertising partnerships.
At SwimSwam.com, Mel hosts Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.com, a video series featuring the world’s fastest swimmers and Olympic medalists. See all Gold Medal Minute espisodes here.
LITTLE GOLD MEDAL MELVIN
As a child Mel was known as Little Melvin.
Mel lived in Gastonia, North Carolina, unitl the age of 7. His father, Big Melvin, and mother, Myra Stewart, moved the family 40 miles east to Charlotte, North Carolina after getting jobs working for Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, founders of the PTL Club, a Christian ministry and television talk show. Mel’s mother coached his sister, Kim Stewart, and he in a swimming pool directly under Jim Bakker’s television studio. Mel attributes his resistant to butterfly pain to his mother’s daily workouts which included 50 consecutive laps of the stroke.
By the age of nine, Mel’s parents put him under the tutelage of coach Frankie Bell at the Johnston Memorial YMCA.
Showing early promise in swimming, 16 top-10 national rankings in the 9-10 age group, Mel’s father began calling him Little Gold Medal Melvin after the 1968 Track and Field Olympic gold medalist Melvin Pender.
Frankie Bell developed Mel’s butterfly encouraging the side-breathing technique before Mel’s first 200 yard butterfly at the YMCA Nationals when he was 13. By the age of 15 Mel was the YMCA National Champion in the event.
By 1985 Jim Bakker’s PTL Television Network had fallen under harsh scrutiny by the media.