“I am very honored to have been selected to the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame. Every award I received over the past 46 years is very special to me. This award, coming from my hometown is extremely special.”
High School: Rio Americano
* 3 Time Olympic Gold Medalist (Mexico City, 1968)
* United States Olympic Hall of Fame (1986)
* James E Sullivan Award (1968)
* Associated Press Athlete of the Year (1969)
* American National High School Hall of Fame Inductee (2004)
Debbie Meyer will always be known as a teenage darling from Sacramento. A person that accomplished so much at such a young age. She is unquestionably one of the best female swimmers of all time.
For someone who never took a swimming lesson, Debbie’s accomplishments are impressive to say the least. Growing up in Sacramento she was one of the first swimmers to come out of the famed Arden Hills Swim Club. After having a dominating youth career Debbie was ready to test the international waters at the ripe young age of only 14.
In 1967, she won 2 gold medals at the Pan American Games as a 14 year old in the 400 and 800 meter freestyle events. After that, the stage was set and at the age of 16 she was on her way to Mexico City for the 1968 Summer Olympic Games. During those games, she was the youngest and brightest star of the swimming competition. She was the first swimmer to win three individual gold medals during those games in the 200, 400 and 800 meter freestyle. All of this while being a student a Rio Americano High School. The accomplishments for an athlete at this age; male or female was unprecedented. Debbie dominated the world of swimming with a youthful look and bright smile. She was the toast of the 1968 Summer games.
She held 5 world records simultaneously and broke 20 world records and 24 American records from 1967 to 1971. She also won 19 national championships during that 4 year span. Debbie’s other dubious awards include the TASS News Agency Award as the world’s best athlete, the James E. Sullivan Award recognized as “The Outstanding Person Award”, World Swimmer of the Year award three straight times and the coveted Associated Press Athlete of the Year: the only amateur or female to receive that honor.
Debbie Meyer’s name has been synonymous with swimming for over 40 years. After retiring from competition in 1972, one of her priorities continues to be working with young people. “I have had such a rewarding career and I enjoy sharing it with others,” Meyers said. She has conducted clinics nationwide as well as in 10 foreign countries. She has coached youth swimming as well as coaching at NCAA Division 1 schools.
Debbie continues to devote her time with helping youth in the Sacramento area. She owns the Debbie Meyer Swim School and works with all ages; both competitive and adaptive swimmers. Debbie currently lives in Truckee with her husband, Bill Weber, and is the head coach of the Truckee Tahoe Swim Club; a member of USA Swimming.
Debbie Meyer is a person who was a pioneer in her sport and will always be an American legend. She has always represented her home town proudly.