Los Angeles Preps: Matt Biondi

Sierra Canyon lands Olympic gold medalist as swim coach

May, 5, 2012
It’s not that often an Olympic gold medalist decides to coach and teach high school students. But that’s exactly what is happening at Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth.

Matt Biondi, who won five gold medals in swimming in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, will be the swim coach and a math teacher at Sierra Canyon starting in the fall.

It would be like Kerri Strugg deciding to coach a gymnastics team at Alemany or Carl Lewis becoming the track coach at Crespi. Magic Johnson might as well be the basketball coach at Harvard-Westlake.

Landing a coach of Biondi’s caliber and reputation is unheard of. Yet many of the swimmers at Sierra Canyon haven’t heard of Biondi or know much about his Olympic career.

To put it in perspective, he was the Michael Phelps of his day. He went to the 1988 Olympics trying to match the mark set by Mark Sptiz and win seven gold medals in one Summer Games. He came up a little short, with five gold medals, a silver medal and a bronze medal.

By the end of his Olympic career – he went to the 1984 and 1992 Summer Games as well – he won a record 11 medals and set four world records.

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