Olympic gold medalist swimmer, TV Personality, and philanthropist, Summer Sanders, shares her journey in and out of the pool on THE BRINK OF MIDNIGHT PODCAST.
From the time of ditching her floaties to keep up with her older brother, Summer developed a true love of water that took her on an incredible NCAA and Olympic swimming journey and taught her lessons she still draws upon today. Summer's first major turning point was when she, at age 15, "understood her power" and learned how to take life's opportunities into her own hands. After a year of finishing last in many races, she made it to the Olympic Trials and narrowly missed a spot on the team. She doubled down on her vision, earned a full ride scholarship to Stanford University and helped the Cardinals win NCAAs in 1992. Making the 1992 Olympic swimming team, she then gave up the rest of her scholarship eligibility to compete on the Olympic stage in Barcelona from which she brought home four medals: a bronze (400 medley), a silver (200 medley), and two golds (200 Fly, 4x100 Medley).
After hanging up her cap and goggles, Summer launched full-time into her TV career, appearing as a reporter and host for shows on MTV, Nickelodeon, Fox Sports, ABC, NBC, CBS Sports, HLN, MSN, Yahoo Sports and even competing on "Celebrity Apprentice" for charity. Summer's contagious energy and real talk are based on a "perfectly imperfect" life as a working mom, deep commitment to philanthropy, and pursuit of adventure. She reminds us to always lead with passion, but make room for growth along the way.
SUMMER'S WORDS OF WISDOM
"Natural talent can only take you to a certain point."
"I loved winning, but I would be nothing without my teammates."
"I feel like anger often times results from a lack of preparation... It becomes an opportunity to learn, grow, and find out how to be a positive influence in the world."
"Sometimes you have to do something out of character."
"Be perfectly imperfect."
Summer's go-to music for inspiration:
Andra Day's Rise Up
SUMMER'S WORK + CHARITABLE PROJECTS
"We Need to Talk" (CBS): Summer is heading into her fourth season co-hosting on this award-winning, all female sports show!
USA Swimming Foundation: Summer is on the board and this foundation raises money to provide swim lessons for kids and make them water safe.
Right to Play teaches life-changing lessons through play, and helps bridge the access gap to quality early childhood education.
John Wayne Cancer Foundation's Block the Blaze Campaign helps raise awareness among youth and teens about skin cancer prevention.
CONNECT WITH SUMMER
Closing song, Promises (Brink of Midnight)
To hear from another Olympic gold medalist and Paralympian, check out our conversations with Apolo Ohno and Scout Bassett: