At just twelve years old, Dana Vollmer stepped up to the block at her first Olympic swimming trials. She never focused on her age, only the time on the board at the end of her race. Though she didn’t make the team that year, her feisty, competitive spirit drove her to train even more fervently. A scary diagnosis prompted heart surgery when she was only 14, and she every practice and meet she swam with a defibrillator poolside, determined to chase her dreams despite her doctor’s concerns.
Her perseverance paid off as she went on to win Olympic gold and set a new World Record in the 4×200 relay. In the years following her victory, she wrestled with the weight of others’ expectations, her own identity, and separating her results from her worth. In 2008 she found herself crushing under the pressure and completely missed qualifying for the Olympic team. Her disappointment prompted a journey towards wholeness that included serving internationally, investing in her own mental and emotional health, and seeking fulfillment outside of swimming.
To date, Dana has won seven Olympic medals and welcomed two sons. Her movement, To The Power of Mom, aims to unite elite athlete moms for encouragement, motivation, and support.
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