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Nancy Hogshead-Makar

Inducted 2007

The essential missions of the Olympic Movement include promotion of women through sport, the protection of athletes, and development through sport. It is no wonder that Nancy Hogshead-Makar was an Olympic champion – she fulfilled them all.

Hogshead-Makar was already a standout in swimming by the time she was a freshman at Episcopal High School; at 14, she was ranked No. 1 in the world. She was a two-time state champion in the IM and swam on state championship 200-medley and 400-medley relay teams, and led the Eagles to a third-place finish in 1977 and state runner-up status in 1978. In 1977, Hogshead-Makar was the only American ranked No. 1 in an international competition.

She received the first swimming scholarship offered by Duke University, and went on to set school records in eight different events. Hogshead-Makar still holds the records for the 500 Free with a time of 4:48.43 and the 200 Fly with a time of 2:00.03. She retired from competitive swimming for more than a year, but emerged stronger than ever to win the U.S. Comeback Swimmer of the Year Award in 1983 and the prestigious Kiphuth Award, presented to the best all-around swimmer in the nation.

Hogshead-Makar qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1980, but the boycott against the Moscow games postponed her chances for Olympic gold. The 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles were to be her crowning achievement. Hogshead-Makar won gold medals in the 100-meter freestyle, 4x100-meter freestyle relay and 4x100-meter medley relay, and a silver medal in the 200-meter individual medley for the highest medal count of any swimmer at the Games. Along the way she set American records for both the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly.

Her career after swimming has been just as extraordinary. Hogshead-Makar is a high-profile advocate for gender equity in sports, and is one of the nation’s foremost Title IX proponents. She was president of the Women’s Sports Foundation from 1992-1994 and serves on its Board of Stewards, and has served on two Presidential Committees on gender equity in sports. Hogshead-Makar has also been a spokesperson for the American Lung Association and written a book, Asthma and Exercise. A former attorney with Holland & Knight LLP in Jacksonville, she is now an assistant professor at Florida Coastal School of Law.

Hogshead-Makar was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1994 and the International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame in 2001. She is also a member of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, and was ranked No. 3 on the Florida Times-Union’s list of 100 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century from the Jacksonville area in 1999. Hogshead-Makar resides in Jacksonville.