And Then They Won Gold: Successful Parenting of an Olympic Champion


And Then They Won Gold (Medium)By Chuck Warner//Special Contributor

This is the first in a series of themes that author Chuck Warner discovered in the research and writing of the book, …And Then They Won Gold: Stepping Stones To Swimming Excellence. Highly acclaimed by swimming leaders around the world, the book is written for swimmers, coaches and parents to learn the steps to swimming excellence.


The book chronicles the development of eight great swimmers who collectively won 28 Olympic gold medals in all four of the swimming strokes and in most distances. Their careers are chronicled from their start in swimming in summer leagues, to working their way to the top of the Olympic podium.


The swimmers are: Matt Biondi, Dave Berkoff, Mike Barrowman, Josh Davis, Lenny Krayzelburg, Ian Crocker, Grant Hackett and Aaron Peirsol.


…And Then They Won Gold, Theme I: Successful Parenting Of An Olympic Champion.

  • Each of these champions had parents that were very interested and supportive of their child’s sporting experience.
  • For seven of the eight champions their parents coached life, not swimming.
  • Their parents had high standards for the character displayed and developed by their chid.
  • The mothers of each of these male champions were emphasized as very important to their success.

This is a short excerpt from the chapter on eight-time Olympic gold medalist Matt Biondi with a subtitle, “A Process for Excellence.” Matt was twelve years old during this scene:


In the sport of tennis it was a common sight during televised professional matches to see the players display temper tantrums and slam their rackets. Matt gave tennis a try, and during a match he became frustrated and slammed his racket on the court. His mother didn’t say a word to him, but his match was over. Lucille [Biondi] walked out onto the court, grabbed Matt by the ear, pulled him to the car and drove him home. Matt’s exploration into choosing a sport might be his own, but the way he conducted himself as a sportsman was fully under the guidance of his parents.


For more information or to order …And Then They Won Gold, go to (access Books * Media), Swimming World Magazine or the American Swimming Coaches Association. The author is Chuck Warner, who has also written the highly regarded book Four Champions, One Gold Medal, the story of the preparation and race for the gold medal in the 1500-meter freestyle at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

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