Betsy Mitchell, One of USA’s Most Decorated Swimmers, to Discuss New Book “More Than Medals”

Olympian and collegiate swimming champion shares lessons learned from a life in sports
Published on Jun 17, 2024

Betsy Mitchell, Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation, Caltech
Credit: Caltech Athletics

Betsy Mitchell, a two-time Olympic swimmer, former world record holder,seven-time NCAA champion and Caltech Athletics Director, will discuss her newly published book “More Than Medals: Lessons from an Olympian” on Wednesday, July 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Ramo Auditorium at Caltech. The event, presented by Behind The Book, will be recorded for later, on-demand viewing from the BTB Archives.

In her book, set to be released on May 28, 2024, Mitchell shares personal anecdotes and insights, reflecting on her career and the impact of sports on her life. She emphasizes the importance of process over results and the value of personal growth and development through sports. The book serves as a love letter to the transformative power of amateur sports done well.

One of the many takeaways from the book is that personal satisfaction is earned through the process of any endeavor rather than from the outcomes we all seem to be striving toward. Another is that Mitchell views her parents and the manner in which they guided her as a distinguishing uniqueness, and her stories shed insight for parents guiding children through today’s world.

Mitchell, born on Jan. 15, 1966, is a former competitive swimmer who has achieved significant milestones, including being a world record-holder, world champion, and Olympic gold and silver medalist. She competed in the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics, winning a silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke and a gold medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay in 1984, and another silver in the 4×100-meter medley relay in 1988.

After her swimming career, Mitchell transitioned into coaching and athletic administration, serving as the women’s swimming coach at Dartmouth College and holding various athletic director positions at institutions such as Laurel School for Girls, Thomas Worthington High School, and Allegheny College. Currently, she is the Director of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation at Caltech, where the athletic programs have seen significant growth and success under her leadership.

In her book, Mitchell also discusses the need for rebranding and reframing the role of athletics in college and university campuses. In this Olympic summer, hear some inspiration and common sense in a delightful storytelling format from one of the USA’s most decorated swimmers ever.

Admission to the event is free, but reservations are strongly recommended and can be made through the Caltech Ticket Office by phone at (626) 395-4652 or by email at

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