School and swimmingEdit
Sanders was born in Roseville, California and attended Cavitt Junior High School, Bishop Donahue High School and Oakmont High School there.
She first came to the attention of the swimming world in 1988 when she barely missed a spot on the 1988 U.S. Olympic team. She won three gold medals at the 1990 Goodwill Games before embarking on her collegiate career at Stanford University. In two years at Stanford, she compiled six individual NCAA titles and four relay championships. Sanders earned back-to-back NCAA Swimmer of the Year awards and propelled Stanford to a national championship in 1992. She also played basketball.
At the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, she won gold medals in the 200-meter butterfly and in the 400-meter medley relay. She also won a silver medal in the 200-meter individual medley and a bronze medal in the 400-meter individual medley. Her individual performances in Barcelona were identical to those a year earlier at the 1991 swimming and diving world championships in Perth, Australia. Retiring after the Barcelona Olympics, Sanders later attempted to make the 1996 Olympic team but failed to qualify.
Sanders began working on television while still competing. In 1992 and 1994 she was a commentator for CBS Sports for the NCAA Swimming Championships, and from 1993–1994 was a reporter for that network's skiing program Bumps & Jumps. In 1996, she was a commentator for NBC's coverage of the swimming events at the Atlanta Olympics, and contributed to the network's coverage of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City as an on-site reporter. She was also the host of Scholastic at the Olympic Games on MSNBC in 2000. Nickelodeon named her their "commissioner" for the Nick GAS channel in 1998, after being the first female host of a Nickelodeon game show, Figure It Out (1997–2000).
Sanders' basketball work includes being a sideline reporter for the WNBA (Lifetime, 1997–1999; NBC, 1999–2002) and a feature correspondent for NBA on NBC from 2000–2002, while in tennis she was a reporter for USA's coverage of the U.S. Open in 2000 and 2001, and co-host of CBS' coverage of "Arthur Ashe Kid's Day" at the Open from 2000 to 2006. From 2000 to 2004, she was a special correspondent for NBC's Today Show.
Sanders has hosted a number of TV programs. In 1994, she was the co-host for MTV's Sandblast. Since then, she has hosted NBA Inside Stuff (1998–2005), the syndicated series US Olympic Gold (2002–2005), Beg, Borrow & Deal (ESPN, 2003), NBA TV's Mind, Body & Spirit (2003–2004) and The Sports List (Fox Sports Net, 2004–2005). Sanders also co-hosted the Fox celebrity reality series Skating With Celebrities in 2006.
Sanders began hosting Inside Out with Summer Sanders, in 2009. The show, which is the first original production of Universal Sports, debuted on December 23, 2009, and focuses on in-depth interviews and intimate profiles of notable Olympic athletes. She also worked as a general correspondent for Good Morning America and Rachael Ray.
Sanders was also a 2010 Winter Olympics correspondent for NBC/Universal Sports,
She was on the third season of Celebrity Apprentice, along with Darryl Strawberry, Cyndi Lauper, Bret Michaels, Sharon Osbourne, Michael Johnson, Holly Robinson Peete, Bill Goldberg, Carol Leifer, Sinbad, Rod Blagojevich, Maria Kanellis, Curtis Stone and Selita Ebanks, who all competed for charity. She was the 8th one fired. Donald Trump said the reason Sanders was fired was because she did not do a decent job defending herself when in the final two.
Sanders has appeared as an actress in two films: Jerry Maguire (1996), in which she played herself and Broken Record (1997).
In June 1999, she published the book Champions Are Raised, Not Born: How My Parents Made Me A Success.
Sanders is seen as celebrity spokesperson for the Abdoer Twist infomercials in late 2010.
On July 4, 1997, Sanders married Olympic swimmer Mark Henderson. The couple divorced in 2001. In July 2005, she married Erik Schlopy, a World Cup skier who competed at the Torino 2006 Olympics. Their first child, a daughter named Skye Bella, was born April 21, 2006. Their second child, Robert Charles Spider Schlopy, was born on January 15, 2008.
On Saturday, June 9, 2007, Sanders' childhood home was destroyed by fire.
Sanders is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the United States, named in 1996, and serves on the national advisory board of Positive Coaching Alliance.
- Official website
- NBA Inside Stuff – Summer Sanders
- International Swimmers Hall of Fame – Summer Sanders
- Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame Entry
- USA Today – Olympic Swimming: Summer Sanders – chat transcript
- United States Olympic Committee – Q&A with Summer Sanders – chat transcript
- Summer's U.S. Olympic Team bio
- Figure It Out