Fast Facts

  • Won NCAA Swimmer of the Year at Cal consecutively from 2001 to 2003.
  • Became the first American woman since 1966 to hold the 100m backstroke world record and was the first woman to go under one minute in the event.
  • Became the third American woman to win five swimming medals at one Olympic Games, in 2004 in Athens. Swam the lead-off leg in the 4x200m freestyle final in which the U.S. broke a 17-year-old world record, the oldest on the books at the time.
  • Served as a studio host for MSNBC's 2006 Winter Olympic coverage.
  • In 2006, co-authored a book about her career titled Golden Girl: How Natalie Coughlin Fought Back, Challenged Conventional Wisdom, and Became America's Olympic Champion with Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated.
  • Won six medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the most any female American athlete has won in one Olympics.
  • Competed in season 9 of Dancing with the Stars, paired with Alec Mazo.
  • Posed in Sports Illustrated's 2012 Swimsuit Issue.


  • Megan Coughlin — Sister
  • Ethan Hall — Husband
  • James Coughlin — Father
  • Zennie Coughlin — Mother


  • Attended Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill, CA; University of California, Berkeley, CA (BA in Psychology, 2005)

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  • Birth Place: Emeryville, CA
  • Birthday: August 23, 1982, Leo
  • Profession: Professional swimmer