Natalie Coughlin is a competition swimmer and twelve-time Olympic medalist. While attending the University of California, Berkeley, she became the first woman ever to swim the 100-meter backstroke (long course) in less than one minute—ten days before her 20th birthday in 2002.
At the 2008 Summer Olympics, she became the first U.S. female athlete in modern Olympic history to win six medals in one Olympiad, and the first woman ever to win a 100-meter backstroke gold in two consecutive Olympics. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she earned a bronze medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay. As of 2020, her total of twelve Olympic medals ties her with Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for the most all-time medals by a female swimmer. Coughlin's success has earned her the World Swimmer of the Year Award once and American Swimmer of the Year Award three times. She has won a total of sixty medals in major international competition, twenty-five gold, twenty-two silver, and thirteen bronze spanning the Olympics, the World, the Pan Pacific Championships, and the Pan American Games.
Coughlin appeared in the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She has also written her own book called Golden Girl. In 2015, Coughlin became a brand ambassador and investor in a frozen food company, Luvo Inc.