About Matthew Nicholas Biondi
Matthew Nicholas Biondi (born October 8, 1965) is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder. Biondi competed in the Summer Olympic Games in 1984, 1988 and 1992, winning a total of eleven medals (eight gold, two silver and one bronze). During his career, he set seven individual world records (three in the 50-meter freestyle and four in the 100-meter freestyle).
At the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Biondi won five gold medals, setting world records in the 50-meter freestyle and three relay events.
Biondi is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame.
In the summer of 1984, Biondi surprised the swimming community by qualifying for a spot on the U.S. 4×100 meter freestyle relay at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The team won the gold medal in a world record time. Upon returning to Berkeley, Biondi once again played on an NCAA Champion water polo team in the fall, and during in the winter of 1985, he won the first of his eight individual swimming titles at the NCAA championships.
Biondi was selected as the NCAA Swimmer of the Year in 1985, 1986, and 1987, and he set several American and NCAA records.
Biondi set the first of his twelve individual swimming world records in 1985. He was the first man to swim the 100-meter freestyle faster than 49 seconds, and by 1988 he owned the ten fastest times swum in that event. He won a total 24 U.S. Championships in the 50, 100, and 200 meter freestyle events, as well as the 100 butterfly. In two World Championships (1986 and 1991), Biondi won 11 medals including six gold. During his career, he was a finalist for the James E. Sullivan Award, the UPI Sportsman of the Year, the U.S. Olympic Committee Sportsman of the Year, and selected twice as the Swimming World magazine Male Swimmer of the World, in 1986 and 1988.
Biondi was involved in perhaps one of the oddest defeats of any competitor at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. In the 100 meter butterfly final race, he was caught between strokes as he approached the finishing wall. He chose to glide rather than take another stroke, and Biondi was edged out by Anthony Nesty of Surinam by just 0.01 second.
Biondi still won five gold medals, one silver medal, and one bronze medal in the 1988 Olympics, breaking the world records in four of those victories: three in relay races, and one in the 50 meter freestyle, taking just 22.14 seconds for this swim. This was the third time that he had broken or equalled the existing 50 meter freestyle world record.
Biondi's time in the 100 meter freestyle final was the only swim below 49.00 seconds of the competition, and he set a new Olympic record of 48.63 seconds, the second fastest swim at this distance in history.
At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Biondi won two more gold medals in relays and a silver in the 50 meter freestyle.
Matthew Biondi's Timeline
October 8, 1965
Moraga, Contra Costa, CA, USA
Hawaii, United States
California, United States