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Margaret Hoelzer          

Olympic Swimmer & Child Advocate

Margaret Hoelzer is proof that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible. Overcoming sexual abuse as a child, Hoelzer rose to the top in her sport of swimming and continues to excel as an internationally recognized motivational speaker and advocate. In 2008 after competing in her second Olympic Games becoming a three-time Olympic medalist, and breaking a World Record, Margaret revealed to the world that she had been sexually abused as a child. Leveraging her platform as an Olympic athlete to help spread awareness in a time before the times up and me too movements, Margaret was one of the first professional athletes to speak out about her experience with sexual abuse. She is currently a spokesperson for the National Children’s Advocacy Center and is a featured survivor in the national award winning Darkness to Light training video, “Stewards of Children.” Margaret has received numerous awards for her advocacy work.

When she’s not doing advocacy work, Margaret enjoys sharing her Olympic spirit and experience with Olympic hopefuls and businesses all around the country by teaching youth swim clinics and speaking to local communities. She has a degree in psychology with a minor in criminology, and pursued a graduate degree in sociology from Auburn University.

In 2002, Margaret was the top ranked American in the 200m back after winning gold at the Pan Pacific Championships. She then earned silver in the 200m backstroke at the 2003, & 2005 World Championships. In 2004, Hoelzer made her first Olympic team, competing in the 200 back. She placed 5th at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. In 2006 she placed second in the 200 Back at the Pan Pacific Championships. In 2007, Hoelzer broke through for her first gold at the World Championships where she dropped nearly two seconds off her best time and broke her first American Record. In 2008, Margaret made her second Olympic team and swam for the US Olympic team in three events in Beijing, China, taking the bronze in the 100m back, and two silvers in the 200m back and 4×100 medley relay. She also broke the World Record at the 2008 Olympic Trials in the 200 back. Hoelzer retired from competitive swimming in 2010 having been on the US National team for 9 years. In addition to her international swimming accomplishments, Margaret is a 22-time All-American and a 6 x National Champion having competed for Auburn University collegiately.

Speech Topics

Sexual Abuse, Motivational


Olympic medal winner visits with SSA - The Daily Sentinel: Sports
Margaret Hoelzer, who won three medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, hosts instructional clinic with SSA.
Margaret Hoelzer is set on making the sport of swimming safer. The two time US Olympian, and three time Olympic Medalist, is a spokesperson for the National Children’s Advocacy Center and is part of the Committee for Safe Sport at USA Swimming.

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