Postcard from Beijing: Rest for Coughlin

Cal grad Natalie Coughlin will head home to Lafayette on Friday with the biggest stack of medals any U.S. woman has accumulated at one Olympics — six.

She’ll celebrate her 26th birthday on Saturday by taking a break from the pool for a while.

Coughlin said she plans to compete in the 2012 Olympics in London, but will take at least a year off “to get energized” and will not enter the 2009 World Championships in Rome.

“You need time to refocus,” Coughlin said. “You need to take a break.”

Wedding bells loom in April, followed by a Hawaii honeymoon. She has now won 11 medals in two Olympics, one less than the U.S. women’s record set by Stanford’s Jenny Thompson from 1992 to 2004.

“It’s something I’m incredibly proud of,” Coughlin said. “Hopefully I’ll get more in London.”

Coughlin has had time to see some other events since swimming finished on Sunday, including track and field. That has included the disappointment of watching one friend, 400-meter favorite Sanya Richards, get upset in Tuesday night’s finals.

“We’re both Coca-Cola athletes,” Coughlin said.  She has several other sponsors, including Speedo, the manufacturer of the new swimsuit which helped produced the wave of records here. Another Cal grad, Peninsula resident Grace Upshaw, was among the three Americans who have advanced to the women’s long jump finals on Friday. It is the only event in which any American jumper, male or female, has qualified for the finals here.

OlympicsOther Sportssportsswimming

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays attends an event to honor the San Francisco Giants' 2014 World Series victory on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Willie Mays turns 90: San Francisco celebrates the greatest Giant

By Al Saracevic Examiner staff writer I couldn’t believe it. Willie Mays… Continue reading

Ja’Mari Oliver, center, 11, a fifth grader at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, is surrounded by his classmates at a protest outside the Safeway at Church and Market streets on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in support of him following an April 26 incident where he was falsely accused by an employee of stealing. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
School community rallies behind Black classmate stopped at Safeway

‘When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA to resume ‘poverty tows’ amid calls to make temporary ban permanent

Fines and fees hurt low-income, homeless residents, but officials say they are a necessary tool

Income from Shared Spaces will provide financial resources to the San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency, according to its director, Jeffrey Tumlin. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA director says Shared Spaces serves transit agency’s financial interest

$10.6 million price tag for program raises concerns among transit agency’s board members

A broad coalition of tenants and housing rights organizers rally at Stanley Mosk Courthouse to protest eviction orders issued against renters Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Los Angeles, CA. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Federal judge strikes down CDC’s national moratorium on evictions

David Yaffe-Bellany, Noah Buhayar Los Angeles Times A federal judge in Washington… Continue reading

Most Read