Dana Vollmer

Dana on progress

“Use your passion and excitement about being an athlete to motivate you through the hard times. It’s what you do with the rough patches that defines the athlete you’ll become.”

At age 12, Dana Vollmer was the youngest swimmer at the 2000 Olympic Trials. At 16, she won gold as a 800m freestyle relay team member in Athens, breaking a 17-year-old world record. It seemed Dana was on the path to swimming superstardom.

Expectations were tremendous for her at the 2008 Olympic Trials. A self-described nervous wreck, she didn’t qualify for the team. Afterwards she took time to figure out if and how she could continue in her beloved sport.

Putting some distance between herself and what happened in Omaha helped her refocus and reenergize her commitment to swimming with outstanding results.

“A lot of it was a switch in the mentality from where I started in 2008 and not making the team,” Dana said. “There was so much pressure on me. I made (swimming) about so much more than just racing. Now, I’ve made it about having fun instead of trying to be all of these things to other people.”

“I want to keep swimming as long as I can continue to improve and get faster.”

Read more about Dana in SPLASH magazine, courtesy of USA Swimming - July/August 2011 | November/December 2011 | May/June 2013

More on Dana

Watch Dana’s aha moments:


  • Birthday: December 13, 1987
  • College: University of California, Berkeley

Sweet Achievement:

“Getting my first individual American record (59.94) in the 100 fly at the 2009 World Champs”

Winning Record

  • Olympics
    2016 – Bronze, 100m butterfly; Gold 400m freestyle relay; Silver 400m medley relay
    2012 РGold, 100m butterfly 55.98 (WR); Gold, 800m freestyle relay 7:42.92; Gold, 400m medley relay 3:52.05 (WR)
    2004 – Gold, 800m freestyle relay (WR)
  • World Championships
    2013 – Bronze, 100m butterfly; Gold 400m medley relay
    2011 – Gold, 100m butterfly; Gold, 400m medley relay; Silver, 400m freestyle relay
    2010 – Silver, 400m medley relay (scm); Silver, 400m freestyle relay (scm) (AR); Bronze, 100m butterfly (scm) (AR)
    2009 – Silver, 800m freestyle relay; Bronze, 200m freestyle
    2007 – Gold, 800m freestyle relay (WR); Silver, 400m freestyle relay (WR); Silver, 400m medley relay
  • Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships
    2010 – Gold, 100m butterfly; Silver, 100m freestyle; Gold, 400m freestyle relay (CR); Gold, 400m medley relay; Gold, 800m freestyle relay
    2006 – Gold, 800m freestyle relay (CR)
  • Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool
    2011 – Gold, 400m medley relay; Bronze, 100m butterfly; Silver, 200m freestyle; Silver, 400m freestyle relay
    2009 – Silver, 100m freestyle (AR); Bronze, 100m butterfly; Silver, 200m butterfly; Gold, 400m freestyle relay (AR); Gold, 400m medley relay (WR)
    2007 – Bronze, 100m butterfly; Bronze, 200m freestyle

Race Clips