Natalie Coughlin Biography

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Birth Name: Natalie Coughlin

In the midst of her immensely successful college career, Coughlin set her sights on the Olympic Games. Already a star before she made it to Athens in 2004, she emerged from those Olympics a national celebrity, having won two gold medals while becoming only the third American woman to capture five overall. After another brush with injury in 2005, Coughlin won two more national titles and graduated from Cal Berkley with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, though she skipped the graduation ceremony to compete at the USA Swimming Grand Prix. For the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, she was co-captain of the swim team alongside Amanda Beard and Dana Torres. Coughlin emerged from the Games with a total of six medals - a first for any modern female athlete at the Olympics - including another gold in the 100m backstroke. With her celebrity at an all time high, Coughlin hoped to become the next Shawn Johnson when she joined the season nine cast of "Dancing With the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ), appearing alongside supermodel and entrepreneur Kathy Ireland, famed singer Donnie Osmond and disgraced politician Tom Delay.