At only 13-years-old, Donna de Varona was the youngest member of the 1960 Olympic swim team, but she competed only in the relay heats. By the 1964 Olympics, however, she had become the best known woman swimmer in the world – she had set 18 world records in the interim and won innumerable was voted by both AP and UPI as the top female athlete of 1964, but her success did not end with the Tokyo Olympics. Miss de Varona made the cover of several national magazines in 1964. She used her fame to launch a career in sportscasting, first with ABC and, in more recent years, with NBC. She was the first female sportscaster in the United States and the first to cover the Olympics for television, which she did in 1968, and eventually covered 18 Olympics as a broadcaster.
De Varona has also been very active in promoting women’s sports, and amateur sports in general. Her activities have included being a member of the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, the President’s Commission on Olympic Sports, and a founding member and past president of the Women’s Sports Foundation. De Varona’s sister, Joanna Kerns, became a well-known actress on American television. Her aunt, Miriam Cooper, was also an actress and a star of early American silent films.
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|1960 Summer Olympics||Swimming (Aquatics)||USA||Donna de Varona|
|4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Women (Olympic)||United States||1|
|1964 Summer Olympics||Swimming (Aquatics)||USA||Donna de Varona|
|4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Women (Olympic)||United States||1||Gold|
|100 metres Butterfly, Women (Olympic)||5|
|400 metres Individual Medley, Women (Olympic)||1||Gold|