10-TIME OLYMPIC MEDALIST   •  AMBASSADOR FOR TYPE ONE DIABETES  •  THREE -TIME OLYMPIAN (96, 00, 04)   •  COMPETED IN 2000 AND 2004 WITH TYPE ONE DIABETES   •  2012 U.S. OLYMPIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
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Gary Hall, Jr.

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Personal Info

Born On:  September 26, 1974
Hometown:  Cincinnati, OH
Resides:  Santa Barbara, CA
Height:  6'6"

Biography

Enjoying life and giving back

Gary Hall Jr. is one of the most decorated American swimmers in history, with ten Olympic medals, three World Championships, and three Olympic teams to his name. But Gary Hall Jr. the personality and diabetes advocate far outshone any of his Olympic accomplishments. His first introduction to the world was at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Hall was a relative novice in the sport of swimming - he'd only gotten serious about it 6 years prior - but had already caused enough waves in the sport to catch the attention of the ultra-serious Alexander Popov, the world's best sprinter at the time.

With the head-to-head battle looming, Hall walked out on deck in leather motorcycle pants, and proceeded to box an invisible opponent and flex big for the home crowd. The pre-race ritual became his trademark in the swimming world. Boxing robes replaced more traditional warmups as he walked out to the blocks. While the crowd was enjoying the show, Gary Hall Jr. was getting into the “zone.” It was perhaps this unique individuality that allowed him to overcome one of his greatest challenges in life.

In 1999, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at a time when most of his competitors were staring intently at the 2000 Olympics. Doctors told Gary that he would not be able to continue competing. But in true Gary Hall fashion, he addressed his challenges, stepped on the blocks at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials and threw a punch right back at life. He broke a 10-year old American Record in the 50 free, and then went on to win gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. His ability to accept challenges head-on and conquer them is what won him both countless awards, and adoring fans. Gary has used his sports accomplishments to increase awareness and help develop programs in the community.

In 2009 he was invited to join the Sanford Health International Children’s Board. Gary’s recent corporate work includes co-authoring recommendation reports with the Aspen Institute's Project Play Advisory Group and IOC Medical Commission, with focus addressing chronic health conditions in sport and physical activity. He is also involved with the Unitio Advisory Council for a patient enrollment accelerator for medical research organizations.

As a speaker, Gary shares his love for the sport and his experience with diabetes with children, parents, coaches and corporations all over the world. As Gary learned through swimming, your biggest challenges are often times your greatest advantages.