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

A construction worker watches a load for a crane operator at the site of the future Chinatown Muni station for the Central Subway on Tuesday, March 3, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Major construction on Central Subway to end by March 31

SFMTA board approves renegotiated contract with new deadline, more contractor payments

Neighbors and environmental advocates have found the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park noisy and inappropriate for its natural setting. <ins>(</ins>
Golden Gate Park wheel wins extension, but for how long?

Supervisors move to limit contract under City Charter provision requiring two-thirds approval

San Francisco school teachers and staff will be able to get vaccinations without delay with the recent distribution of priority codes. 
Shutterstock
SF distributes vaccine priority codes to city schools

San Francisco has received its first vaccine priority access codes from the… Continue reading

COVID restrictions have prompted a benefit or two, such as empty streets in The City. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Taking the scenic route through a pandemic

Streets of San Francisco are pleasantly free of traffic

Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina provide the voices of the title characters of “Raya and the Last Dragon.” <ins>(Courtesy Disney)</ins>
‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ boasts full-scale diversity

Though familiar in plot, Disney’s latest is buoyed by beauty, pride and power

Most Read