Jeff Float

Jeff Float

Jeff Float
Personal information
Full name Jeffrey James Float
Nickname(s) "Jeff"
Nationality  United States
Born (1960-04-10) April 10, 1960 (age 54)
Buffalo, New York
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 187 lb (85 kg)
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Freestyle
Club Arden Hills Swim Club
College team University of Southern California

Jeffrey James Float (born April 10, 1960) is an American former competition swimmer, world record holder, world champion and Olympic gold medalist. He qualified for the 1980 Moscow-bound Olympic Swimming Team, which was boycotted by the U.S., and four years later competed at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. There he was named team captain by his peers, earned a gold medal in the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay,[1] and finished fourth in the men's 200-meter freestyle event.

At 13 months of age, Float lost most of his hearing and nearly his life to viral meningitis. As the result, he is 90% deaf in his right ear and 65% in his left. He became the first legally deaf athlete from the United States to win an Olympic gold medal. When he emerged from the pool after swimming the third leg for the U.S. team in the 4x200-meter relay and shattering the world record by five seconds, he heard the roar of the crowd. "It was the first time I remember distinctively hearing loud cheers at a meet. I'll never forget what 17,000 screaming people sounds like. It was incredible!" Float said.[2] He graduated from both Jesuit High School in Sacramento and obtained a bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in business administration from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. [3]

Float garnered 10 gold medals in 10 events (unprecedented) at the 1977 World Games for the Deaf in Bucharest; a silver medal in 400-meter freestyle at the 1978 World Aquatics Championships in Berlin; and a gold medal in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the 1982 World Aquatics Championships in Guayaquil.

Float is now employed by Spare Time, Inc., as the aquatics director at Gold River Racquet Club in Gold River, California. There he is the head coach of the Gold River Stingrays summer recreational team and personal trainer to swimmers of all levels. Float is also co-head coach of STAS (Spare Time Aquatics Sacramento), a USS year-round swim program. In addition to coaching, Jeff is a popular motivational speaker. He and his wife Jan Ellis Float are both active and longtime participants in Swim Across America, a national nonprofit organization which "Makes Waves to Fight Cancer" — to date, over $40 million.

See also

Biography portal
Olympics portal
Swimming portal


External links

  • Profile
  • Jeff Float leads the Gold River Stingrays Team Cheer
  • Jeff Float Story: The pursuit of Olympic Gold part 1
  • Jeff Float Story: The pursuit of Olympic Gold part 2
  • Jeff Float Story: The pursuit of Olympic Gold part 3
  • Jeff Float Story: The pursuit of Olympic Gold part 4
  • Jeff Float on the cover of Sports Illustrated