Most athletes consider it a lifelong dream to participate in the Olympics. But for Amanda Beard, competing among the world’s greatest swimmers is very much a reality. In fact, this water baby is the second-youngest gold medallist in U.S. Swimming history. Beard won her first Olympic gold early on in her career at the age of fourteen! In 2001, she focused her energy on pursuing this sport professionally. To date, Beard has won a staggering seven Olympic medals and is a world record holder.
Not only is she an amazing athlete, but Beard has a tremendous will to succeed in business endeavors as well. This blue-eyed lovely happens to be the face of Speedo’s new active wear line, Axcelerate. Currently in development, a line of Amanda Beard products for skin care, hair care, fragrance, sunscreen and body wash. Beard will be the primary decision maker/co-owner of the company. Not surprisingly, Beard has a huge male following and is one of the most downloaded female athletes. She was also chosen to pose in Sports Illustrated’s famous swimsuit issue. Beard is extremely excited about her endorsement deals, developing a series of book projects, TV hosting and her very own calendar.
WD: Tell us about your adorable dogs! How did they become part of your family?
AB: Jerry is a Border Collie and Harley is a Shetland Sheepdog. Jerry is from California. He grew up in Orange County and is ten-years-old. Harley is five- years-old and I got her in Arizona. Jerry is my princess. He is really prissy, doesn’t like getting dirty, prances around and loves messing through my closet. Harley likes to rough house. She likes to run around and get into things. She enjoys going crazy. Jerry was actually a Valentine’s present from my dad. I came out of a Saturday morning swim practice and he had a big bow around his neck! He is named after Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. With Harley, I didn’t mean to get her, but there was a sign for free puppies and I fell in love with her! She is a little biker chick…a tough girl!
WD: I have to ask … do your dogs swim?!
AB: They love to swim. Jerry swims in a circle, not too fast. Harley is fast! I race her. I taught them both how to swim. I am always in the water, so it’s important. When Jerry was little, we put him in and let him swim around to get use to it. With Harley, we were jumping in the pool and she would jump in after us and chase us around. Harley’s favorite stroke is the slash stroke. She splashes everywhere. Jerry is like a little frog in the water. He doesn’t move a lot. It’s cute- Jerry has a lot of fur, so when he gets out of the water, he looks like a rat. Harley never wants to get out. You can pull her out, but then she runs around and jumps back in!
WD: What are some funny situations you’ve had with your dogs?
AB: Jerry thinks he is a big guy, so when I walk by other dogs, he likes to puff up and act all tough. When the other dogs come up, he is the biggest scaredy cat! Harley thinks she weighs about five pounds, so every morning she jumps on top of me. She is about ninety pounds, so you can imagine how awesome that feels when you’re just waking up. Jerry is a love machine! He loves to make out like crazy in the morning. At six o’clock he is in lapping your face with puppy love. They are great dogs! Harley likes to get into things. The other day, she was digging in my backyard on a mission to find something. There is absolutely nothing out there. It ended up being a three day project, where she dug this hole. She can get out of any yard. At my last house, the fences weren’t that high, so she would get on top of the fence and wait for me. She is an adventure dog. We go on lots of hikes together.
WD: How do you spoil them?
AB: They have these faces when they want a treat… so they get anything they want! I spoil them, they sleep in the bed with me, they go everywhere with me
WD: Would you rather live here in Tucson, than in California?
AB: No, I would definitely rather live in Orange County! That’s where I grew up. The dog beach out there is awesome– Huntington Beach.
WD: So, why do you live out here?
AB: I live in Arizona because I love my coaches out here and it’s perfect weather to train outside year round.
WD: Tell me about getting involved with Defenders of Wildlife.
AB: I love animals. I got involved in Defenders of Wildlife because they are a great organization. It’s a lot of fun! I am getting educated on things I didn’t know existed in the animal world. In return, I can educate young children to be conscious about what is going on with animals, especially endangered species. I wanted to get involved with charity work and do something I was passionate about. We found them and I’ve worked with them for about four years now. It’s been great. Mainly, I’ve been working with them on dolphins, because dolphins are awesome and it just fits my personality, because I’m a swimmer!
WD: Animal Fair loves talking to true animal lovers. Thank you so much for sharing your stories with our readers.
AB: Of course! Growing up, I had cats, dogs, birds, fish, hamsters, rats, mice, rabbits … we always had animals around. I am so in love with my dogs, it’s out of control! I always get teased about how much I love them. Whether I’m having a good or bad day, my dogs are always there for me. They come and give me kisses. It’s fabulous.
WD: Speaking of kisses … do you believe in true puppy love?
AB: My thoughts on love are if you are looking for it, you are never going to find it. You have to step back and be more relaxed about it. If you are too up front about things, it’s just never going to happen.
WD: Has it happened with you?
Animal Fair would love to play matchmaker and propose fellow swimmer and hunk Aaron Peirsol! Beard and Peirsol have been good friends for years. One thing’s for sure– these two swimming sensations would make one big splash together!