Where Is Amanda Beard Now? The Olympic Swimmer Is Still Busy Outside Of The Sports World
Swimming is one of the Olympics' most highly anticipated sports, and with the Rio Olympics in full swing, it's natural to wonder what happened to former Olympic greats — so where is Amanda Beard now? The highly decorated swimmer has attended four Olympic Games, beginning in 1996 when she was just 14. Competing at such an early age, she became the second youngest American swimmer to medal in the sport, with two silvers in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke and one gold in the women's relay race. (Bustle has reached out to Amanda Beard for comment.)
Although a growth spurt temporarily slowed her down, Beard went on to compete in the Olympics in 2000, when she won bronze, and 2004, when she won three more medals. She attended her final Olympic Games in 2008 in Bejing, where she served as co-captain and finished 18th in the breaststroke. Beard trained for the 2012 London Olympics, which would have been her fifth games, but she failed to qualify for the United States team.
That may have been the last time she competed in the Olympics, but don't count her out for future appearances. Beard has gone in and out of retirement several times, and she has reportedly said that she'll continue swimming as long as she's physically capable. Beard has certainly kept herself busy outside of swimming, as well: Over the years, she has modeled in publications ranging from Sports Illustrated to Playboy, and she told Outside magazine that during her brief retirement from swimming at age 22, she was making 50 to 60 personal appearances a year. The swimmer even made a particularly memorable appearance on Celebrity Wife Swap in 2014, when she temporarily switched places with Heidi Pratt.
On top of being a model and athlete, Beard became an author after the publication of her 2012 memoir, In the Water They Can't See You Cry, which details her struggles with self-harm, bulimia, and unhealthy relationships as she grew up in the international spotlight. She told CCTV America that the memoir is intended to show readers they're not alone in their problems. "Even these tough athletes that stand behind the swimming blocks at the Olympics and win gold medals, have issues," she told journalist Mike Walter.
Despite her past troubles, she's a happily married mother these days: Beard married photographer Sacha Brown in 2009, and her first child, Blaise, was born shortly thereafter. After missing out on the 2012 Olympics, she turned her attention to her family. "My husband and I want to start trying to have a second child. So there's a silver lining," she said at the time, according to Reuters. The next year, she gave birth to her second child.
Finally, Beard is the co-founder of the upcoming Beard Swim Co., which offers swimwear and swimming lessons. Although she isn't participating in the current Olympics, she recently tweeted that she was "feeling the Olympic spirit" as she watched the games with her children.
Images: amandaraybeard/Instagram (2)