Tracy Anne Caulkins is a 53 year-old former competition swimmer. She is a three time Olympic gold medalist and five time world champion and a former world record holder in three events. She started training at the age of 8 after watching the 1972 Munich Olympics. She decided that she wanted to become a swimmer and win a gold medal at the Olympics.
At 15 years old, she won five gold medals at the 1978 World Championships in West Berlin. This was just the start of a very promising career of the young swimmer; she went on to set high records in swimming. Caulkins outshone the legendary Johnny Weissmuller by winning thirty-nine national awards. Randy Reese Tracy Caulkins’ swim coach says that she was the greatest swimmer ever.
In 1984, the 21 year-old had accumulated a vast number of titles and medals but she couldn’t make money from swimming. After this she focused her energy on academics and excelled at that too. She was unable to set new records in swimming and was considerably slow at the Pan-Am Games. Though she shifted her focus, she still maintained the top position in swimming.
At the end of her swimming career, Caulkins married her college teammate and settled in Australia. She continued to promote sporting events in Queensland and received a Medal of Order for her efforts. Tracy Caulkins is considered as one of the greatest swimmers because of her accomplishments at such a young age and for the wide range of events in which she was successful. Tracy Caulkins belongs to the league of stalwarts in swimming like Dawn Fraser, Jenny Thompson, Krisztina Egerszegi, Kristin Otto, and Janet Evans. Her career was cut short due to unfortunate timing and politics; had she competed in the 1980 Olympics, this would have not been the case.