We are proud to announce this year’s Go Red for Women Speaker, Dana Vollmer, a 7-time Olympic Medalist who was diagnosed with a cardio-electrical disorder at age 14 but continued to reach for her dreams.
Dana was raised in Granbury, Texas and found great swimming success at a young age under Coach Ron Forrest at the Fort Worth Area Swim Team. At 12 years old she was the youngest swimmer competing at the 2000 US Olympic Trials. In college, under Coach Teri McKeever, Dana won four national titles and played a key role in bringing the University of California Golden Bears their first NCAA national team title in women’s swimming.
Dana’s Olympic career started in 2004 at the Athens Olympics where she won gold as part of the World Record setting 4×200 Meter Freestyle Relay. After a heartbreaking miss of the national team in 2008, she came back in 2012 and won three gold medals while setting two World Records at the London Olympics. Her World Record in the individual 100 Meter Butterfly of 55.98 seconds was the first time a woman swam the event under 56 seconds.
After having her first child in March of 2015, Dana returned to the pool and quickly regained her place among the top swimmers in the world. At the 2016 Rio Olympics she won bronze in the 100 Meter Butterfly, silver and an American Record in the 4×100 Meter Freestyle Relay, and gold in the 4×100 Meter Medley Relay. Her gold in 2016 is USA Swimming’s first-ever gold won by a mother.
Although she believed she was done with swimming after 2012, Dana has found a new love for swimming. For years she defined her life through her success or failure in the pool, but now it is her family that matters the most. With the pressure off of swimming, it is a hobby that Dana loves. In July 2017 Dana and husband, Andy Grant, brought another baby boy into the world. Dana continues to train while raising her sons, Arlen and Ryker.
Dana is one of the most gold-medaled female USA Olympians of all-time, currently ranked fourth. Throughout her incredible accomplishments she has endured setbacks, injuries, and seven weeks of bedrest during her pregnancy. She draws from these experiences for her own inspiration and also uses them to help motivate others. She is a seasoned motivational speaker who is personable and professional. When not training and spending time with her family, she is speaking to others about how they too can accomplish their dreams, and spreading awareness about heart disease and stroke in women.
Follow her on Facebook: @danavollmer; Twitter: @danavollmer; and Instagram: @dana.vollmer.