While working a clinic in Springfield, Illinois, 7-time Olympic medalist and 2-time mom Amanda Beard told the local State Journal-Register that she is planning to continue racing professionally with her eye on the 2016 Olympics.
Beard will turn 33 later this year and will be 34 by the time the 2016 Olympic Trials and Olympic Games roll around, and hasn’t raced officially since the 2012 Olympic Trials where she was 5th in the 200 breaststroke.
The once 14-year old phenom from the 1996 Olympic Games confirmed to SwimSwam that she is training and racing for a spot on the 2016 Olympic Team. She says that she’s been “having a blast” and is “just trying to enjoy swimming and have fun racing.”
She also shared that she is racing with Doug Djang at the King Aquatic Club
in Seattle. KING is a program that has some experience with Olympic medal winning breaststrokers in their 30’s – Megan (Quann) Jendrick is a KING product as well.
Beard has not yet responded to a request for comment of confirmation, but were she to plan to compete in the 2016 Olympic Trials, there would still be some hurdles to clear. The USADA has released its drug testing data through March 31st, 2014, and according to those results Beard has not been drug tested since the 4th quarter of 2012, which was around the time she became pregnant with her second child, Doone Isla Brown.
Athletes are required to be in the USADA drug testing pool for 90 days before returning from any sort of official retirement or “break from the sport.” While Beard has not been tested since the end of 2012, she says that she never officially submitted retirement paperwork.
Update: Beard says that despite not being tested in 2013 by the USADA, she did not retire at any point. She became pregnant at the end of 2013 with her and her husband’s second child together.