Dear readers of Sport & Beauty. Sport and fashion are closely related. Female sport stars sometimes try to pursue a career in modeling or occassionally work as models. Perhaps the most famous example are Russian players Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova. But there are also beautiuf and gourgeous sportwomen in other sports. Today we are going to dedicate this post to the world’s female swimmer of all time: Amanda Beard. Amanda Ray Beard was born on October 29, 1981, in Irvine, California, United States of America. Both her sisters, Leah and Taryn, swam at local clubs and to impress them, Amanda Beard began jumping in the pool as early as four years of age. Eventually Amanda joined a swimming club and she soon started to stand out amongst her mates.In 1995, she earned a U.S. National Title in the 100-meter breaststroke, was named a National A team member, and took second place in the Pan Pacific Championships for the 400-meter medley relay. Amanda Beard was selected for the U.S. National Team that was gearing up for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. At the Games, Amanda Beard didn't disappoint. She took the silver medal in both the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke, and the gold for her contribution in the breaststroke leg of the 400-meter medley relay. In doing so, she became the second-youngest American gold medalist in swimming history (Pokey Watson still retains the top title from her 1964 win). Amanda Beard graduated from high school in 1999 and enrolled at the University of Arizona, where she flourished even more under a new swimming coach. She took the silver at the 1999 World University Games in the 100-meter breaststroke, and the following year won the silver in the 200-meter at the NCAA Championships. She would take the event's top medal in 2001.
Amanda's performance at the 2000 Sydney Games was largely ignored by the media. She took the bronze in the 200-meter breaststroke (her fourth Olympic medal) but this latest accomplishment didn't grab any headlines. Nonetheless, the sporting world continued to view Amanda Beard as a hero. When she took a year off school in 2001 to travel the world to swim professionally, clubs throughout the world invited her to lead clinics and give motivational speeches. She wasn't just a pretty swimmer. She was a smart, inspiring pretty swimmer. In 2002, she broke the American record in the 200-meter breaststroke at the Swimming World Cup, and bagged two gold medals in the Pan Pacific Championships. In 2003, she scored the highest honor of her still-burgeoning career. At the World Championships in Barcelona, she broke the world record in the 200-meter, becoming the No. 1 breaststroke swimmer throughout the world and history. At the 2004 Athens Games Amanda took the gold in the 200-meter breaststroke and the 400-meter relay. Away from the swimming pool Amanda Beard has also done some modeling. She has graced different issues of FHM and Playboy and has also modeled for the 2006 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. I personally prefer her photo shooting for FHM (you can see the pictures in the slide at the end of the post). Like Pamela Anderson, Joanna Krupa and Fernanda Tavares amongst many others, Amanda is also an enthusiastic environmentalist and she usually cooperates with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in campaigns against the use of fur for clothing. Under the slogan “I’d rather be naked than wear fur” she tried to pose naked for PETA last week in Beijing but she had to give up since Chinese authorities banned the protest for public security reasons. Maybe Chinese authorities feared thousands of excited Amanda’s fans jumping at her. To finish with the post I’ll leave a slideshow with Amanda's pictures and a video where you can see this pretty American swimmer being interviewed. We sincerely wish her all the best at the Beijing Olympic Games. Best Regards.