Swimmer Natalie Coughlin capped a stellar collegiate career by winning a total of nine medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Natalie Coughlin grew up in California and went to the University of California at Berkeley, where she set a raft of records and was named the NCAA's Swimmer of the Year in 2001, 2002 and 2003. A sprint specialist who is especially strong at 100 meters, she also is the first woman to swim the 100-meter backstroke in under one minute. She became a major story with her success in the 2004 Olympics, where she won two gold medals, two silver and one bronze. She parlayed her swimming fame and winning smile into a job as an analyst with NBC at the 2006 Winter Olympics. She then qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she won four more medals, including a gold in the 100 meter backstroke with a personal best of 58.96 seconds.
Natalie Coughlin’s last name is pronounced COG-lin, according to USA Swimming… She is 5’8″ tall… She co-wrote (with Michael Silver) the 2006 book Golden Girl: How Natalie Coughlin Fought Back, Challenged Conventional Wisdom, and Became America’s Olympic Champion… Coughlin finished her college swimming career in 2004 and graduated in 2005 with a degree in psychology… Natalie Coughlin was born in Emeryville, California, according to USA Swimming, but grew up in the towns of Vallejo and Concord.