Wendy Boglioli's Swimming Career and Beyond:
Olympic swimmer Wendy Boglioli helped bring home the lone U.S. gold swimming medal in the 1976 Olympic games in Montreal, where the East German women's team swept all but two events. Later, the use of performance-enhancing drugs such as hormones and steroids explained the stunning East German victory. Boglioli was part of the freestyle relay team that set a world record and won the gold medal. She also took home the bronze medal in butterfly.
After the Olympics, Boglioli became the first female swimming coach at Yale University and had three children with her husband Bernie, whom she married nine months before going to Montreal. Without a strong marriage, she never would've made it to the Olympics, she said in a telephone interview. "I don't think I would've made the Olympic team if he wasn't such a huge supporter and giver," she said, recalling how they met in college at Monmouth University, fell in love and got married. "Swimming took work, athletics takes work, business takes work, marriage takes work, and to think that one is less than another, we've never viewed it that way."
Born on March 6, 1955, Wendy Boglioli grew up in Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin, and started training as a swimmer at age 6 with her parents as her coaches. One of seven children, she trained in a 17-yard pool, which was unheard of. "What I learned from them was opportunities," she said. When her father grew ill during her adulthood, she became his primary caregiver and saw the cost of his care exceed $60,000. She began selling long-term care insurance and is now the Genworth Financial LTC spokesperson.
Success in the Olympics provides lessons for real life and business. "You've got to be creative, as I am today," she said. "I've been in business for over 30 years. My perspective has changed and grown. . . . You have to have belief in what you do, as an athlete or in the business world."
Sources: telephone interview, WendyBoglioli.com