2008 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST, 4X100 FREESTYLE RELAY   •  3-TIME WORLD CHAMPION  •  2-TIME U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPION  •  20-TIME ALL AMERICAN   •  2007 PAC-10 SWIMMER OF THE YEAR  •  12-TIME PAC-10 CHAMPION  •  ESPN THE MAGAZINE UNIVERSITY DIVISION PLAYER OF THE YEAR, 2007  •  STANFORD AL MASTERS AWARD (STANFORD'S HIGHEST ATHLETIC HONOR)  •  AMERICAN RECORD HOLDER, 50 FREE
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Ben Wildman-Tobriner

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Personal Info

Born On:  September 21, 1984
Hometown:  San Francisco, CA
Resides:  Menlo Park, CA
Education:  Stanford 2007: B.S. Biomechanial Engineering; University of California-San Francisco Medical Student
Height:  6'4

Biography

Since earning Olympic gold, Tobriner has enrolled in medical school at the University of California -San Francisco. A bio-mechanical engineer at Stanford University, Tobriner was a Rhodes Scholar finalist, an academic All-American and was awarded the high honor of the NCAA Top VIII, which is given to the eight best student athletes in the country. Academic Achievement

As a scholar student, a World Championship swimmer, a community activist and man of faith, many had long considered Ben Wildman-Tobriner a ‘golden boy’. The Olympic swimmer made the title official in Beijing this summer as he won an Olympic gold medal as part of the world record setting 400m freestyle preliminary relay for the United States.

As an ambassador of the Olympic movement, Wildman-Tobriner is passionate about sharing his success story through speaking engagements and corporate partnerships. He works closely with Hilton Hotels and Speedo and regularly speaks on overcoming adversity, faith-based lifestyles and balancing his education, training and commitment to community. His unique story has been featured on Inside Edition and FOX Business, as well as in numerous other publications and broadcasts across the country and the world.

Medical Challenges

Most world-class athletes live their whole lives training for the Olympic Games: Wildman-Tobriner only had 100 days. In December of 2007, just six months out from Olympic Team Trials, the National Champion swimmer tore his pectoral muscle lifting weights. The diagnosis is generally nine to 12 months, but for Wildman-Tobriner, that was not an option. Able to stroke with one arm with three and half months until Trials, he got back in the pool. Dr. Rick Eagleston, a physical therapist for Stanford University referred to Wildman-Tobriner as an “example to other people with similar problems on how to focus on the positive and focus on a goal.

Wildman-Tobriner has used his experience from the injury to help motivate others to overcome obstacles. Stanford University regularly uses him to address incoming students and parents because of his unique motivational message. His experiences in Beijing and his trials leading up to the Olympics give him inimitable and powerful speaking points.

Even with the significant injury, the goal was Olympic gold after cementing his place as one of the top young swimmers in the world. With his stunning victory in the 50-meter freestyle at the World Championships in March 2007, Ben Wildman-Tobriner gained recognition as a new threat in swimming’s most exciting race and the “Fastest Swimmer in the World.”

Community Involvement

Growing up in San Francisco as a member of the Boys and Girls Club, Wildman-Tobriner has looked to give back to the organization that gave him the opportunity for success as a young age. He worked with Hilton Hotels, one of his dedicated sponsors, to help raise money to upgrade the swimming facilities at his hometown pool. The Olympic gold medalist believes that every child, regardless of income, should have the opportunity to have a high-quality education and to learn to swim and compete.

Judaism

Wildman-Tobriner grew up in the Jewish faith, attending the Congregation Sherith Israel in northern San Francisco. His faith has been a major part of his life and has significantly impacted his swimming career. He grew up idolizing Jewish-American and Olympic legend Mark Spitz, and looks to follow a similar path in translating Olympic success into an opportunity to share his ideal, which include hard-work, commitment to community and a faith-based lifestyle. 

In December 2008, Wildman-Tobriner was honored as the 200,000th participant with Taglit Birthright Israel. Within this position, he spoke to attendees at the Mega Event on January 1, 2009 in Jerusalem. He has appeared on FOX Business speaking about his commitment to engaging Jewish youth in the community, and has been featured in Jvibe Magazine.