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OCTOBER 22, 2021


NOTE: This Forum will be 90 minutes long and open to the Public.

Invite your Family and Friends!





This Forum will feature 5 Olympic Gold Medalist swimmers currently or originally from the Sacramento region. It will be a “round table” discussion of the experiences of being a world record holder and the epitome of success in the sports world, what it took to have such focus, what each gold medalist had to give up for their careers, and how they handled transitioning from the intensity of training and competition to post-Olympic “civilian life” … Our very capable Beth Ruyak, formerly from Capitol Public Radio, will moderate the discussion. Check out all of our Renaissance Society's

Fall 2021 Forums and classes HERE.


Mike is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, with two Golds in Mexico City in 1968: 400

freestyle and 1500 freestyle. In 1972, Mike became the first swimmer in history to defend

the Olympic 1500-meter freestyle title by breaking the world record with his third Olympic

gold medal in 2000. Mike was also USA’s 1972 Swimming Team Captain and USA Flag

Bearer during Closing Ceremonies in Munich. His accomplishments include seven world

swimming records, 19 United States records, 13 national championships and five NCAA

titles while attending UCLA. He was installed in the International Swimming Hall of Fame

in 1977. As a Charter member of the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984, Mike was also

chosen by USA Swimming to the “Team of the Century”.  In 2015 Swimming World

Magazine featured Mike’s 1500 swim in Munich as one of the greatest individual event

upsets in Olympic swimming history.


During his infancy, viral meningitis claimed up to 90% of Jeff’s hearing. Despite this handicap,

Jeff did indeed “Float” … really fast! While competing at the World Games for the Deaf, he

finished first in all ten offered events, remaining an unprecedented feat 44 years later! While

Jeff qualified for the 1980 USA Olympic Team, the US boycotted the games that year, but he

also made the ‘84 cut and was reinstated as their peer-elected Team Captain. That year he and

his teammates clinched the 4X200-meter free-relay by 4/100ths of a second, smashing the world

record by 5 seconds for the Gold! He now inspires youth as Aquatics Director and Head Swim

Coach with Spare Time Inc. and Personal Trainer at his original Arden Hills Swim Club in



An Olympic Champion swimmer, Summer (Sanders) Schlopy is also an NBA television host,

a Nickelodeon game show host and an ambassador of international charitable organizations.

She began her swimming career at the age of 4. She earned a scholarship to Stanford University

where, in her two-year collegiate swimming career, she won every NCAA title in which she was

entered, back-to-back NCAA swimmer of the year and the National Championship with her

teammates in 1992. Also, in 1992, she represented Team USA at the Barcelona Olympic Games

bringing home more medals than anyone else in the pool: 2 Golds, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze. Now

she enjoys a 28-yr career as a TV host and reporter for every major network and is best known

for her 10-year position as co-host of “NBA’s Inside Stuff”. Summer is also the author of

“Champions Are Raised, Not Born: How My Parents Made Me a Success”. She is married to

fellow Olympian, Erik Schlopy, and they have two kids, Skye and Spider, and reside in Park

City, UT.


Mark is one of the most celebrated athletes of all time with 35 World records and 7 Olympic

Gold Medals in swimming. In 2000, Mark was voted one of the six best Olympians of the

Century by Sports Illustrated Magazine. He secured numerous endorsements and has become

a well-known motivational speaker. He also established a swimwear company in partnership

with Adidas called Arena. Recently, the International Olympic Committee selected Mark as

one of five Athletes of the Century. Mark currently works with the Laureus World Sports

Academy on projects worldwide in concert with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation

which uses sports as a powerful and cost-effective tool to help children and young people

overcome violence, discrimination and disadvantage in their lives.


Debbie was a 2-time Gold medalist in the ‘67 Pan American Games, 3-time Gold medalist in the

‘68 Olympics, broke 19 American records and 20 World records in swimming. She is also a

member of the US Olympic Hall of Fame, International Swimming Hall of Fame, US High School

Hall of Fame, Women’s Sports Foundation Hall of Fame and Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame.

She has coached high school, NCAA DI&DII, Recreational and USA Swim teams. She has also

worked in promotional roles for Speedo International, Coca Cola, Sports Illustrated, Life Savers

and Iron Kids and served as a commentator for CBS Sports Spectacular and ESPN. Debbie owned,

operated and taught at the very successful Debbie Meyer Swim School in Sacramento for 25 years

and is married to Bill Weber, with 3 children and 3 grandchildren.. 


BETH RUYAK: Moderator

We are grateful to have, once again, as a special treat, our very own 4+ Emmy Award winning

Beth Ruyak -- reporter, writer, news anchor, producer and former Host of Capital Public Radio’s

Insight – who will moderate and interview these amazing athletes. Beth began her career in

journalism nearly four decades ago as a news reporter in Minnesota. She landed the first of six

Olympic assignments with the NBC Sports team in Barcelona. After 30 years in television, she

jumped into public radio and as of 2020 is now focusing on documentary work with her newest

endeavor, Ruyak Media. 

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