20. Debbie Meyer, swimming

She set the stage for <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT008491" title="Michael Phelps" href="/topic/sports/swimming/michael-phelps-PESPT008491.topic">Michael Phelps</a>, taking three gold medals in the 1968 Olympics -- the first swimmer to triple. Born in <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PLGEO100100602010000" title="Annapolis" href="/topic/us/maryland/anne-arundel-county/annapolis-PLGEO100100602010000.topic">Annapolis</a>, Meyer learned to swim in the Chesapeake Bay before moving to California. At 16, she set three world records in the Olympic trials before winning in Mexico City (200, 400 and 800 freestyle). She set 15 world marks and is a member of the <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PLCUL000165" title="International Swimming Hall of Fame" href="/topic/sports/swimming/international-swimming-hall-of-fame-PLCUL000165.topic">International Swimming Hall of Fame</a>.

( UPI photo / May 1, 2012 )

She set the stage for Michael Phelps, taking three gold medals in the 1968 Olympics -- the first swimmer to triple. Born in Annapolis, Meyer learned to swim in the Chesapeake Bay before moving to California. At 16, she set three world records in the Olympic trials before winning in Mexico City (200, 400 and 800 freestyle). She set 15 world marks and is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

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