Kim Vandenberg

Kim on handling disappointment

“Don’t view disappointments as failures. Struggles bring strength and motivation to make you better the next time.”

A self-described late bloomer in swimming’s big show, Kim Vandenberg’s been steadily improving since her first Olympic Trials in 2000 at age 16.

It hasn’t always been easy. At one point, Kim even took time off to evaluate whether to continue. Turns out she had a lot more she wanted to accomplish in the sport she loves.  

Renewed and more committed than ever, Kim adjusted her eating habits and stroke technique and improved her race-readiness by strategizing. The results speak for themselves.

In her first World Championships (2007), Kim finished the 200m butterfly just three-tenths of second behind the world-record holder for a silver medal and a new lifetime-best mark.

She made her first Olympic team in 2008 and medaled with the freestyle relay team.  The difference is Belief.

“After the 2004 Trials, I never realized how close I was to making the team if I had believed in myself more,” she said.

In 2008, she embraced that belief in her ability and was confident she could translate it into results.

“I’m improving all the time,” Kim said, “and I believe I still have my best swims to come.”


  • Birthday: December 13, 1983
  • Hometown: Moraga, California

Sweet Achievement

“Making the Olympic team on the third try (2000, 2004 and finally 2008). I never gave up on my goals and kept faith in my journey.”

Winning Record

  • Olympics
    2008 – Bronze, 800m freestyle relay
  • World Championships
    2007 – Silver, 200m butterfly
  • Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool
    2007 – Silver, 200m butterfly
  • World University Games
    2005 – Silver, 200m butterfly