Janet Evans Delivers TED Talk About The True Meaning of Winning

Tony Carroll
by Tony Carroll 2

November 05th, 2014 News, Video

Janet Evans, one of the greatest distant swimmers in history, recently gave a TEDx Talk about how she discovered the true meaning of winning. She believes that winning is more than just outside validation, winning is self-defined.

“The only way we will become the champions we are capable of being is to personally define what winning means.” – Janet Evans

Janet Evans found success as a distant freestyler, winning three gold medals at her first Olympic Games in 1988. Her early success was celebrated, but it set expectations for the future. “The societal pressures of winning and exceeding previous goals was strong, but Janet retired a decorated Olympian with four Gold Medals and one Silver Medal.”

In 2012, 23 years after qualifying for her first Olympic Games, Evans made a comeback, reaching her goal of competing in the 2012 Olympic Team trials. Janet still swims every day for fun and enjoys life in California with her husband and two children.



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Finally had time to sit down and watch this. Great talk, Janet, interesting story with important life lessons. Part of me, from a selfish fan perspective, wonders if she had found the right fit with a coach or coaches, if she might have found a way for a longer and more satisfying career, like when Natalie Coughlin, on the brink of an early retirement found Teri McKeever. On the other hand, there are so many other factors, and that the whole point of her talk in the last moments suggests that everything happened as it should have: “It doesn’t matter what path you take to reconnect with yourself, as long as you’re willing to take that first step.” In my… Read more »


Glad she is happy. Glad anyone is happy. But this was a little bit boring.

About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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