Jenny Thompson Becomes Most Decorated Olympian In American History

Aug. 21, 2004

Athens, Greece - Jenny Thompson (1991-95 at Stanford) became the most decorated Olympian in American history when she picked up her 12th career Olympic medal as a member of the United States' second-place 4x100 medley relay women's swimming team on Saturday. Thompson, who is competing in her fourth Olympic Games, and her American teammates finished the race in a time of 3:59.12, while an Australian team set a new world record to win the event in 3:57.32. Thompson swam her 100 meter butterfly leg in 58.41.

'That was my last Olympic swim race,' said Thompson, who was denied her ninth Olympic gold medal and remained tied for the most Olympic gold medals by an American swimmer with eight. 'I am so proud of the women on my team.'

'She has so many medals she can't fit them all around her neck,' added relay teammate Kara Lynn Joyce.

Thompson, who had earned a silver medal at the 2004 Games last Saturday as a member of the Americans' second-place 4x100 free relay squad, was also seventh in the finals of the 50 free with a time of 25.11. Inge De Bruijn of the Netherlands won Saturday's 50 free in 24.58.

Tara Kirk (2000-04 at Stanford) was also awarded with her first Olympic medal on Saturday for her contribution to the USA's 4x100 medley relay silver medal winning team on Friday when she swam the fastest breaststroke leg of the day (1:07.08) in the first of two heats to help the Americans qualify second for the finals in 4:02.82. Amanda Beard swam the breaststroke for the United States in the finals of the event on Saturday.

The United States won the medal count in swimming with a total of 28, including an Olympic-high 12 gold medals.
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