Native Gold

By Daniel Spalding

Misty Hyman is a name competitive swimming fans are familiar with.

The American record-breaking swimmer captured the gold in Sydney in the 2000 Olympics with her innovative kicking technique. She’s considered a pioneer in her field.

Hyman’s career has taken her around the globe, but this third-generation Arizonan still calls it home. She says she loves the “small-town feel” of Arizona because it still has big city benefits and opportunities.

Being an Olympic gold medalist certainly comes with its fair share of opportunities and benefits. She modestly says being a champion changed her life. For example, she works as a public speaker to influence others in a positive direction. It’s her career focus—and rightfully so. As with most champions, the road to gold had adversities.

“The most difficult challenges are what helps define our strengths,” she says, stressing that personal growth during hard times is what makes anyone a champion.

Hyman’s positive outlook and ability to relate athletics to everyday life is what makes her an in-demand keynote speaker.  

“There are too many to mention,” she states when asked about the parallels between sports and life. The work ethic folks gain from athletics, though, is an important skill they’ll carry with them.  

Hyman poetically describes how physical training offers tangible, measurable results that people use to build their confidence. This is not only true in the sports, but in everyday moments in life.  

She says being acknowledged for talents is appreciated, but so re life rewards.

“It’s hard to acknowledge your faults if you don’t acknowledge your wins,” Misty adds.

She rewards herself with globes, which she collects. She purchases special globes when her talks “knock it out of the park.”

“I love globes; not snow globes, but actual models of earth,” she explains.

When this Arizona native, wife, and mother isn’t delivering motivational and inspirational keynote speeches, she unwinds with yoga, reading and one of the things she loves about the state—hiking. She also enjoys rooting on her favorite local team, the Coyotes.

“It was a fairytale experience; it all feels like it was a movie,” Hyman says. “It’s red carpet one day and taking out the trash like everyone else the next day.”  


To find out more about Misty Hyman, visit

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