Coughlin to Appear on NBC's `Tonight Show with Jay Leno'
Aug. 27, 2008
Berkeley - A two-time Olympian and the greatest female swimmer of all-time at California, Natalie Coughlin, will appear on Thursday night's broadcast of 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' on NBC.
Coughlin made Olympic history in the pool, becoming the first American woman ever (in any sport) to medal six times in a single Olympiad after garnering a silver in the women's 4x100-meter medley relay at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing at the 2008 Summer Games. Overall, Coughlin garnered three bronze, two silver and a gold at the Olympics in Beijing. She has attained 11 career Olympic medals, one shy of former U.S. star Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres, who are tied for the record for most Olympic women's swimming medals with 12. Coughlin is however tied with former Cal men's swimmer Matt Biondi with the most Olympic medals by any Cal athlete.
Coughlin also became the first woman to repeat as the 100-meter backstroke champion since its inception to the Summer Games in 1924.
Joining Coughlin on 'The Tonight Show' will be Chef Gordon Ramsay of Fox Television's 'Hell's Kitchen' and musical guest Missy Higgins. Please check local listings for air times.
Mentored by Cal head coach and U.S. Olympic assistant coach, Teri McKeever - one of the most influential minds in the sport - Coughlin won 12 NCAA titles with the Golden Bears (the second-most career titles for a women's swimmer in NCAA history). She was a three-time NCAA and Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year. Her success only grew more after her collegiate tenure. At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Coughlin became the third American woman to win five medals at one Olympics (the others are Mary Lou Retton and Shannon Miller). She took gold in the 100-meter backstroke and the 800-freestyle relay, breaking the world record in that event. Coughlin also won silver medals in the 400-free relay and the 400-medley relay, and a bronze in the 100 free. At the 2008 Olympic Trials, Coughlin lowered her then world record (since broken) in the 100 back to 58.97. In addition, she finished second in both the 100 free (53.83) and 200 individual medley (2:10.32).