There was a time when Amanda Beard was the second-youngest medalist in the history of the Olympic swimming competitions. Then she grew up. A lot. We didn’t really notice when the 14-year-old won her gold–plus two silver medals–in Atlanta back in 1996. Amanda sure had our attention when she earned a mere bronze medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics, though. We were downright cheering by the time that Amanda became the world champion (and American record holder in the 200-meter breaststroke) in 2003.
By the time of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, Amanda Beard officially broke the world record in the 200-meter breaststroke. It wasn’t any big surprise when she went on to win the gold in Athens. It was more of a surprise that she only picked up two silver medals in other events. That was pretty much Amanda’s peak as a swim champion, though. She wouldn’t medal again, and failed to qualify in the 2012 trials. Not that we’re complaining. Amanda still has more Olympic medals than the entire combined COED staff.
Did we mention that Amanda has done some modeling, too? Yes, she has. She published a memoir last year called In the Water They Can’t See You Cry, where she revealed that even a seven-time Olympic medalist can have some serious body issues. We never had any issues with Amanda’s amazing bod, which she proudly displayed for magazines like FHM and Playboy. Amanda also made the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition of 2006.
She’s probably more proud of her medals, but Amanda really accomplished a lot with those pics. Same with her work as a GoDaddy model–and we were really hoping to see more of her as a sports correspondent after some impressive work on The Best Damn Sports Show Period. We don’t know what to expect next from Amanda as she turns 32 years old today, but we’re keeping an eye on her. Much as you’re about to right now with these amazing pics on a truly stunning athlete…