Matt Biondi is recognized as one of the fastest human beings in the water and, with eleven Olympic medals (8 gold), is tied with Mark Spitz as the most decorated US Olympian in history. His competitive career, which spanned three Olympiads, garnered him not only his eleven medals, but also countless world and U.S. records.
Matt wasn’t always a superstar swimmer. He started swimming as a kid but didn’t take the sport seriously until high school when he began to excel in both swimming and water polo. By his senior year, it was apparent Matt was going to be a very special athlete. He ended his high school career with the national high school record in the 50-yard freestyle and accepted a scholarship offer to swim and play water polo at the University of California at Berkeley.
In his freshman year he played on Berkeley’s NCAA Championship water polo team and made the consolation finals at the 1984 NCAA Swimming Championships.
That summer, Biondi surprised the swimming community by qualifying for a spot on the U.S. 4×100 meter freestyle relay at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The team won the gold medal in a world record time. This gold would be the first of 11 Olympic medals of his career that spanned three Olympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992). Biondi set the first of his twelve individual swimming world records in 1985. He was the first man to swim the 100-meter freestyle faster than 49 seconds. Matt led the U.S. team to complete domination at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where he earned seven medals, including five gold. That capped off a year that saw him break an incredible five world records.
Following those games, Matt traveled with the U.S. Water Polo National Team for two years before returning to the sport of swimming to help the U.S. Olympic Team one more time. His swimming career culminated at the 1992 Olympics where he won a third-straight gold medal as part of the 4x100m free relay, plus two additional medals.
During his career, he was a Sullivan Award Finalist, the UPI “Sportsman of the Year,” the USOC “Sportsman of the Year” and twice the Swimming World magazine “Male Swimmer of the World” (1986 and 1988). He is a member of the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Matt received his B.A. from UC Berkeley in 1988 and his M.A.T. from Lewis & Clark in 2000. He currently lives in Hawaii where he teaches high school math, U.S. history and personal excellence as well as coaches the swim team.
The dedication and devotion that Matt showed while competing has been used to pursue other passions. His love for marine mammals lead him to co-found the Delphys Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting the protection of marine mammals worldwide and he also works with the Hawaii Whale Research Foundation in underwater videography.
Matt is a highly sought-after motivational and inspirational speaker for groups of all ages and backgrounds, including Fortune 500 companies.