Debbie Meyer
Personal information
Full nameDeborah Elizabeth Meyer
National teamUnited States
Born (1952-08-14) August 14, 1952 (age 71)
Annapolis, Maryland
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight125 lb (57 kg)
ClubArden Hills Swim Club
Medal record
Women's swimming
Representing the United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1968 Mexico City 200 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1968 Mexico City 400 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1968 Mexico City 800 m freestyle
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 1967 Winnipeg 400 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 1967 Winnipeg 800 m freestyle

Deborah Elizabeth Meyer (born August 14, 1952), also known by her married name Deborah Weber, is an American former competition swimmer, a three-time Olympic champion, and a former world record-holder in four events. Meyer won the 200-, 400-, and 800-meter freestyle swimming races in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. While she was still a 16-year-old student at Rio Americano High School in Sacramento, California, she became the first swimmer to win three individual gold medals in one Olympics, winning the 200-, 400-, and 800-meter freestyle swimming races.[1][2] Katie Ledecky is the only other female swimmer to have done the same, in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.[3]

Meyer set world records in 200-meter, 400-meter, and 800-meter freestyle swimming events at the U.S. Olympics trials.[4] Her winning times at the Olympic Games were 2:10.5 for the 200-meter, 4:31.8 for the 400-meter, and 9:24.0 for the 800-meter distances, all of them new or first-time Olympic records.

In 1968, the women's freestyle races at 200-meter and 800-meter distances were added to the Summer Olympics for the first time. Before this, the longest race for women was the 400-meter freestyle, despite the fact that the male competitors had had the 1,500-meter freestyle race (the metric mile) for decades, dating back to 1896.

While overcoming her problems with asthma, Meyer broke 15 world records in swimming during her career.[2][5]

Meyer broke 24 American records and won 19 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national championships. In 1968, she won the James E. Sullivan Award. In 1969, she was named Associated Press Athlete of the Year. She was named Swimming World's World Swimmer of the Year in 1967, 1968 and 1969. In 1972, Meyer retired from competitive swimming. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1977, and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 1986.[6][5]

On July 5, 2004, Meyer was inducted into the American National High School Hall of Fame. Meyer uses the custom California automobile license plate "3GOLD68".

Meyer is married to Bill Weber. She owns the Debbie Meyer Swim School in Carmichael, California.[2] According to the business website, Meyer has taught swimming in the area around Sacramento, since the 1970s, and she opened her own school in 1993. Along with teaching both children and adults to be safe in the water Meyer is coaching the Truckee Tahoe Swim Team in Truckee, California.

Meyer has a daughter, son, and step-daughter.

See also


  1. ^ "Ahead of Her Time Debbie Meyer Didn't Cash in on Olympic Success, But She's a Hall of Famer," The Sacramento Bee (September 20, 1987). Retrieved November 29, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c, Olympic Sports, Athletes, Debbie Meyer Archived November 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  3. ^ Crouse, Karen (August 13, 2016). "Katie Ledecky Smashes World Record in the 800-Meter Freestyle". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 27, 2023.
  4. ^ Crouse, Karen (June 26, 2016). "In Chasing a Legend, Katie Ledecky Discovers a Buoyant Ally". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 27, 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Debbie Meyer (USA)". International Swimming Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  6. ^ U.S. Olympic Team, U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 1986. Archived November 2, 2007; retrieved March 20, 2015.

Records Preceded bySharon Finneran Women's 800-meter freestyleworld record-holder (long course) July 9, 1967 – March 1, 1970 Succeeded byKaren Moras Preceded byPatty Caretto Women's 1,500-meter freestyleworld record-holder (long course) July 9, 1967 – December 12, 1971 Succeeded byShane Gould Preceded byPam Kruse Women's 400-meter freestyleworld record-holder (long course) July 27, 1967 – April 30, 1971 Succeeded byKaren Moras Preceded byLinda Gustavson Women's 200-meter freestyleworld record-holder (long course) August 24, 1968 – May 1, 1971 Succeeded byShane Gould Awards Preceded byClaudia Kolb Swimming WorldWorld Swimmer of the Year 1967, 1968, 1969 Succeeded byAlice Jones