John Naber

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 4
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 5
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Phillips•Naber
Used nameJohn•Naber
Born20 January 1956 in Evanston, Illinois (USA)
Measurements198 cm / 88 kg
AffiliationsLadera Oaks Swim Club
NOC United States


With four gold medals, all in world-record time, and one silver, John Naber was the outstanding swimmer of the Montréal Olympics. His record at every other major championship was equally impressive. At the NCAAs, Naber won 10 individual and five relay titles and at the AAUs, he won 18 individual and seven relay titles. He won three golds at the 1977 Pan-American Games and ran up a fine record as a “barrier breaker” in the backstroke. Naber was the first man to beat 50 seconds for 100y, the first under 56 seconds for 100m, the first to better 1:50 for 200y, and the first man to break the two-minute barrier for the 200m. Such was the quality of his records that his world records, set in winning both backstroke events at Montréal, lasted until August 1983. Prior to attending Southern Cal, John Naber’s early education was in Italy and England, where his father worked as a management consultant.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1976 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA John Naber
200 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) United States 1 Gold
100 metres Backstroke, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
200 metres Backstroke, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 100 metres Medley Relay, Men (Olympic) United States 1 Gold

Special Notes