Craig Beardsley Personal information Full name Craig Russell Beardsley Nationality United States Born 1961
New York City, New York
Sport Sport Swimming Stroke(s) Butterfly College team University of Florida
Craig Russell Beardsley (born 1961) is a former American college and international swimmer. Although he was the then-current world record-holder in the 200-meter butterfly event and qualified as a member of the ill-fated 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, Beardsley could not compete in the Olympics because of the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Summer Olympic Games.
Craig Beardsley was born in New York City, New York in 1961, the son of an American father, Russell Beardsley, and a Chinese American immigrant mother, Jeanne Loh. He attended the United Nations International School in the city, where he was a stand-out cello player, and graduated from Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan after his family moved to Harrington Park, New Jersey. Prior to attending college, Beardsley never had an opportunity to swim for a school team because none of his schools sponsored an organized swim team.
“ At that time, I don't want to say that I supported the boycott, but I wasn't against it, either. I tried to think there was some good in it. We were doing the right thing. I supported everything at that time . . . [however], I began to realize that it was just another political movement. I became strongly opinionated about trying to separate sports and politics. It will never happen again. Sports, like music, is one of those great things that bind people together. ”
—Craig Beardsley, discussing the U.S. Boycott of the
1980 Moscow Olympics in 2009.
Beardsley won the gold medal in his signature event, the 200-meter butterfly, at the 1979 Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After high school, he received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he swam for coach Randy Reese's Florida Gators swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition from 1979 to 1982. Beardsley qualified for the star-crossed U.S. Olympic team in 1980, but could not participate when, at the behest of U.S. President Jimmy Carter, the U.S. Olympic Committee voted to boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in late 1979. Like many of the best American athletes of 1980, he was denied the opportunity to participate on the largest stage in international sports. At the 1980 U.S. Olympic Trials held the month before the Olympics, Beardsley set a new world record of 1:58.21 in the 200-meter butterfly—a time that was over a second faster than Soviet swimmer Sergey Fesenko's gold medal time in the 1980 Olympic finals.
After the United States–led boycott of the Moscow Olympics, Beardsley continued to train and participate in competitive swimming. He held both the American and world records for the 200-meter butterfly from 1980 to 1983. Swimming World Magazine named him its American Male Swimmer of the Year in 1981. Beardsley was a two-time NCAA champion in the 200-meter butterfly and received eight All-American honors while swimming for the Gators. In 1983, he again won the gold medal in the 200-meter butterfly at the Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela.
Beardsley failed to qualify for the U.S Olympic team in 1984, by placing third by 0.36 of a second in the U.S. Olympic Trials, and he retired from competitive swimming afterward. Taking advantage of the hard feelings created by the American-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries had pushed for and received Olympic rules changes limiting each country to only two participants in each swimming event. The United States, as the dominant swimming power, was hurt the most.
Life after competition swimming
Beardsley is a veteran celebrity swimmer for Swim Across America (SAA), a charitable organization that raises funds for cancer research. He has been an active participant in SAA events since 1987.
He graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in management in 1983, and was later inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great." Beardsley became a Wall Street broker, working for Prudential Securities in New York City. In 1992, he married Ann-Elizabeth McKay Hensel, a former member of the U.S. national figure skating team. He has two children, Carter and Caroline, and lives in Chatham, New Jersey.
- Florida Gators
- List of University of Florida alumni
- List of University of Florida Olympians
- World record progression 200 metres butterfly
- ^ a b c Craig Neff, "A Little Water Music, Please: The University of Florida's Craig Beardsley, who bows a mean cello, swims the 200 fly faster than anyone in the world," Sports Illustrated (March 29, 1982). Retrieved April 15, 2010.
- ^ Litsky, Frank. "World Records Set In 200-Meter Butterfly", The New York Times, July 31, 1980. Accessed October 26, 2011. "Craig Beardsley of Harrington Park, N.J., the 19-year-old son of an American father and Chinese mother, broke the world record this afternoon in the men's 200-meter butterfly swim."
- ^ a b PR.com, "New Yorker and Boycotted 1980 Olympian Craig Beardsley to Sign Copies of New Book Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games at Sports Museum of America," (press release) (August 3, 2008). Retrieved April 15, 2010.
- ^ Joe Marshall, "All That Glitter Was Not Gold," Sports Illustrated (August 16, 1980). Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- ^ Gator Men's Swimming & Diving 2008–2009 Media Guide, Gator History & Records, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 88, 93–94 (2008). Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- ^ a b c Craig Neff, "They've Stroked Their Way To L.A.: Three world and five American records tumbled as 43 swimmers gained Olympic berths at the U.S. trials," Sports Illustrated (July 9, 1984). Retrieved April 15, 2010.
- ^ a b c Swim Across America, Olympians, Craig Beardsley. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
- ^ a b "Weddings; Ms. Hensel, Craig Beardsley," The New York Times (June 14, 1992). Retrieved April 14, 2010.
- Caraccioli, Jerry, & Tom Caraccioli, Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, New Chapter Press, Washington, D.C. (2009). ISBN 9780942257540.
Records Preceded by
Men's 200 metre butterfly
world record holder (long course)
July 30, 1980 – August 26, 1983
1980 USA Olympic Swimming Team Men's Team
Steve Barnicoat • Bill Barrett • Craig Beardsley • Mike Bottom • Mike Bruner • Rick Carey • Chris Cavanaugh • Jeff Float • Billy Forrester • Rowdy Gaines • Brian Goodell • Matt Gribble • John Hencken • Bob Jackson • Kris Kirchner • David Larson • Steve Lundquist • Glenn Mills • John Moffet • Ron Neugent • William Paulus • Peter Rocca • Brian Roney • John Simons • Dave Sims • Dave Thornton • Jesse Vassallo
Women's Team Coaches Pan American Champions in Men's 200 m Butterfly1955: Eulalio Ríos | 1959: Dave Gillanders | 1963: Carl Robie | 1967: Mark Spitz | 1971: Jorge Delgado | 1975: Greg Jagenburg | 1979 – 1983: Craig Beardsley | 1987: Bill Stapleton | 1991: Mark Dean | 1995: Nelson Mora | 1999: Shamek Pietucha | 2003: Michael Raab | 2007: Kaio de Almeida | 2011: Leonardo de Deus University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame Gator Greats: Baseball Gator Greats: Basketball
Ben Clemons • Dan Cross • Curt Cunkle • Bob Emrick • Udonis Haslem • Brooks Henderson • Gary Keller • Tony Miller • Ark Newton • Andy Owens • Hans Tanzler • Neal Walk • Chip Williams • Ronnie Williams
Gator Greats: Boxing
Johnny Joca • Phillip O'Connell • Carlos Proctor
Gator Greats: Football
Fred Abbott • Carlos Alvarez • Neal Anderson • Reidel Anthony • Trace Armstrong • John Barrow • Jim Beaver • Jack Beckwith • Kerwin D. Bell • Bruce Bennett • Red Bethea • Goof Bowyer • Scot Brantley • Alex Brown • Lomas Brown • Carl Brumbaugh • Glenn Cameron • Kevin Carter • Bill Carr • Rick Casares • Charley Casey • Rainey Cawthon • Don Chandler • Wes Chandler • Billy Chase • Hagood Clarke • Cris Collinsworth • Bill Corry • Clyde Crabtree • Brad Culpepper
Joe D'Agostino • Judd Davis • Steve DeLaTorre • Frank Dempsey • Guy Dennis • Dwayne Dixon • Chris Doering • Jimmy D. DuBose • Larry Dupree • Tommy Durrance • J. Rex Farrior, Jr. • Fergie Ferguson. • Don Fleming • Bobby Forbes • Larry Gagner • David Galloway • Max Goldstein • Bobby Joe Green • Sammy Green • Papa Hall • Mal Hammack • Vel Heckman • Ike Hilliard • Tiger Holmes • Marcelino Huerta • Chuck Hunsinger • Randy Jackson • Willie Jackson • John James • Alonzo Johnson • Ellis Johnson • Edgar Jones • James Jones
Jimmy Kynes • Bill Kynes • Charlie LaPradd • Burton Lawless • Larry Libertore • David Little • Buford Long • Wilber Marshall • Lynn Matthews • Shane Matthews • Tiger Mayberry • Lee McGriff • Perry McGriff • Graham McKeel • Vic Miranda • Fred Montsdeoca • Nat Moore • Dennis Murphy • Ricky Nattiel • Ark Newton • Jason Odom • Louis Oliver • Ralph Ortega • Dick Pace • Bernie Parrish • Pat Patchen • Wayne Peace • Tootie Perry • Mike Peterson
Rammy Ramsdell • John Reaves • Errict Rhett • Huey Richardson • Jim Rountree • Barry Russo • Tom Shannon • Jackie Simpson • Emmitt Smith • Larry Smith • Steve Spurrier • Mac Steen • Haywood Sullivan • John Symank • Steve Tannen • Dummy Taylor • Fred Taylor • Allen Trammell • Richard Trapp • Dale Van Sickel • Ion Walker • David Williams • Jarvis Williams • John L. Williams • Lawrence Wright • Danny Wuerffel • Jim Yarbrough • Jack Youngblood
Gator Greats: Golf Gator Greats: Gymnastics
Kristin Guise • Lynn McDonnell • Melissa Miller • Elfi Schlegel • Ann M. Woods
Gator Greats: Soccer Gator Greats: Softball
Gator Greats: Swimming and diving
Men's swimming and diving
Chic Acosta • Craig Beardsley • Jim Borland • Matt Cetlinski • Tom Dioguardi • Phil Drake • Geoffrey Gaberino • Mike Heath • Pat Kennedy • David Larson • Jerry Livingston • Steve McBride • Mark McKee • Tim McKee • Andy McPherson • Alberto Mestre-Sosa • Anthony C. Nesty • James Ray Perkins • Eddie Reese • Ted Robinson • Christopher Snode • Blanchard Tual • Craig White • Bruce Williams • David Zubero • Martin Zubero
Women's swimming and diving
Tami Bruce • Amy Caulkins • Tracy Caulkins • Julie Gorman • Nicole Haislett • Susan Halfacre • Renee Laravie • Mimosa McNerney • Megan Neyer • Kathy Treible • Dara Torres • Mary Wayte
Gator Greats: Tennis
Judy Acker • Nicole Arendt • Jillian Alexander • Dawn Buth • Jill Craybas • Cissie Donigan • Andrea Farley • Jill Hetherington • Alice Luthy Tym • Stephanie Nickitas • Lisa Raymond • Shaun Stafford
Gator Greats: Track and field
Men's track and field
Keith Brantly • Beaufort Brown • Mike Cotton • Scott Dykehouse • Mark Everett • Will Freeman • Ellis Goodloe • Papa Hall • Mike Holloway • Ron Jourdan • Buford Long • Jack McGriff • Dennis Mitchell • John Morton • Earl Poucher • James Pringle • Henry Wadsworth • Bumper Watson
Gator Greats: Volleyball
Aycan Gokberk • Jenny Manz • Gudula Staub
Distinguished Letterwinners Honorary Letterwinners
Ruth Alexander • Charlie Bachman • Percy Beard • Buster Bishop • Andy Brandi • Robert Cade • Norm Carlson • Jimmy Carnes • George Edmondson • Gene Ellenson • Dave Fuller • Frank Genovar • Ray Graves • Ben Hill Griffin, Jr. • Ben Hill Griffin, III • Spessard Holland • Dan McCarty • Alfred A. McKethan • J. Hillis Miller • Bill Potter • Randy Reese • Mimi Ryan • Harold Sebring • George Steinbrenner • Pat Summerall • John J. Tigert • James Van Fleet • Alfred C. Warrington • Bob Woodruff • Everett Yon
University of Florida · Gainesville, Florida
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