Meet The 2016 USA Olympic Swimming Team: Dana Vollmer

Meet 2016 US Olympian Dana Vollmer, who grew up in Granbury, Texas, and will be make her 3rd Olympic appearance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games this summer. In her video, she talks about one of her favorite memories as an age group swimmer, which was her experience at the 2000 Olympic Trials when she was just 12 years old. Vollmer remembers the excitement on one of the swimmer’s faces, and wanting to find that excitement in the sport for herself.

From her bio:

2004 Olympic Games

Vollmer made her Olympic Games debut in Athens in 2004. Vollmer placed sixth in the 200 freestyle and won gold as part of the world-record-breaking 800 freestyle relay. She won three medals (gold, 800 freestyle relay; silver, 400 freestyle relay; silver, 400 medley relay) at the 2007 World Championships. Vollmer also competed in 2009 and 2011, when she won the 100 butterfly and began to cement her place among butterfly royalty.

2008 & 2012 Olympic Games

After failing to make the Olympic team in 2008, Vollmer returned to the London Games in 2012 ready to make history. She won three gold medals, two for relays (the 800 freestyle and a world-record-setting 400 medley) and one in the 100 butterfly. She set the current world record in what is now her signature event with a time of 55.98. She was the first woman to swim the event under 56 seconds.

2013 World Championships

She returned to the international stage at 2013 Worlds, winning gold in the 400 medley relay and bronze in the 100 butterfly. She continues to train with Cal, under coach Teri McKeever.

2014 & 2015 – Becoming a Mother 

Vollmer did not race for nearly  two years after her performance at 2013 Barcelona World Championships. In October of 2014  Vollmer announced she was expecting her first child. March 6th, 2015, Vollmer and her husband, Andy Grant,  had their first son, Arlen Jackson Grant.

“Lifestyle wise, I want to be extremely active with my son and in life in general. I’m loving it so far. I know how to get into shape and eat healthy and set that lifestyle my family. If that includes getting back in the pool… it has so far. It’s been really fun getting back in the water.”

2015 – Don’t Call it a Comeback

There was much speculation Vollmer had hung up her goggles, though she told Universal Sports Network she never left the sport.

“I hated when I saw the rumors that I actually did retire; I never did retire. I always wanted to leave it open for myself and I want to get back into shape. It’s one of those things that if I can get back into shape, maybe I’ll see what I can go in the pool.”

July 12th 2015 the world record holder returned to the pool at the LA Invite, swimming 1:00.05 in the 100 fly prelim.

2016- Road to Rio

In the run up to the Olympic Trials, Vollmer was looking better than ever at the Mesa Pro Series, hitting a best time in 50 freestyle and best ever in season time in the 100 butterfly.

2016 US Olympic Trials

Vollmer’s second place finish in the 100M Butterfly behind Kelsi Worrell, and her 6th place finish in the 100M Free, give Vollmer two events to swim in Rio! This will be her third Olympics, after making the team in 2004 and 2012.

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Is she going to swim 4×100 fr relay? These doubles with one hour between fly and relay races don’t look tough. Is it up to her to decide or it entirely depends on coaches’ preferences? It doesn’t look like she was fully rested at trials saving most of tapering effect for fly competition in Rio. So despite she was slow with her freestyle races she may indeed capable of 53 low as she promised this spring.


Is there a place where I can find all the entries in this series? Thanks for the work in putting this together!

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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