Summer Sanders
Olympic Gold Medalist, Sports Commentator


Born and raised in northern California, Summer lived in the pool. Inspired by her brother Trevor, she joined the team at age 4 and never looked back. Although she did cry on the blocks of her first race, that was when she first learned to push through the fear in order to truly feel the accomplishment. That sense of accomplishment became her motivation for every facet of life.

Summer went on to earn a swimming scholarship to Stanford University and back-to- back NCAA Swimmer of the Year awards in only 2 years as a collegiate swimmer. Her prize accomplishment was being a part of the 1992 National Championship team with Stanford. That summer at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Sanders emerged as the most decorated U.S. swimmer, winning four medals – two gold, a silver, and a bronze.  Soon after, she shifted her passion to television.

Her now 25-year television career began with CBS Sports and MTV, hosting a show called Sandblast. She has gone on to work for every major network and news program: Today Show, Good Morning America and Rachael Ray where she was a special correspondent, ABC and NBC as the co-host of NBA’s Inside Stuff and Nickelodeon as the host of the cult favorite ‘90’s game show Figure It Out.

She has worked 9 Olympic Games as a commentator, reporter and host. She hosted Fox’s reality show Skating with Celebrities and The Sports List and was a part of Lifetime’s groundbreaking WNBA crew including Michelle Tafoya, Reggie Miller and Meghan Pattyson. She had the guts to enter the world of reality television as a contestant for her charity, Right To Play, on Celebrity Apprentice and Guy vs Rachael Celebrity Cook-Off. She currently co-hosts CBS Sports Net’s award winning “We Need To Talk.” She is also the author of “Champions Are Raised, Not Born: How My Parents Made Me a Success.”

On the personal side of life, her proudest titles are that of mom and wife. She is married to a fellow Olympian, from the frozen side of water, Erik Schlopy, who competed in 3 Olympic Games in alpine skiing. Together they have 2 children, Skye, 11, and Spider, 10. Her most frequently asked question is not What was it like being in the Olympics but What will your kids be, skiers or swimmers? They are fully aware that the answer to that question is out of their hands.

Summer is incredibly passionate about giving back and has been a part of her humanitarian love, Right To Play, for over 20 years and is on their US Board of Directors. She was also a strong supporter of the USA Swimming Foundation’s mission of teaching every kid in the USA to swim.

Closing Keynote