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Sippy Woodhead

Full name: Cynthia Lee "Sippy" Woodhead (-Kantzer, -Brennan)
Gender: Female
Height: 5-4.5 (165 cm)
Weight: 119 lbs (54 kg)
Born: February 7, 1964 in Riverside, California, United States
Affiliations: Mission Viejo Nadadores, Mission Viejo (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Swimming

Medals: 1 Silver (1 Total)


Sippy Woodhead earned her nickname because her little sister could not pronounce Cynthia. Sippy began swimming at age four and when she was only 14, she starred at the 1978 World Aquatic Championships, winning five medals and three gold medals. The next year, at the Pan-American Games, Sippy Woodhead won five gold medals – in the 100 free, 200 free, 400 free, and the freestyle and medley relays. She added three world records in the 200 freestyle in 1978-79 and for her efforts, in 1979 she was named World Swimmer of the Year. She seemed set to dominate at the 1980 Olympics, and qualified for six events, but the US boycott prevented that possibly becoming her showcase. After 1980, several health problems curtailed her career, including mononucleosis, pneumonia, and a broken leg. But she recovered to win a gold medal at the 1983 Pan-American Games in the 200 free and a silver in the 400 free. She qualified for the 1984 Olympic team, winning a silver medal in the 200 freestyle. During her career she set 18 US records and won 18 national championships. In her honor, the pool in Riverside, California, where she first started swimming is now called the Sippy Woodhead Pool.

Woodhead earned a degree from Southern Cal in journalism and later earned a masters’ degree in marriage, family, and child counseling. From 1989-97 she served as an assistant swim coach at her alma mater. She suffered a tragedy in her life when in 1995 her first husband died in a motor vehicle accident after falling asleep at the wheel.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1984 Summer 20 Los Angeles Swimming Women's 200 metres Freestyle United States USA 2 Silver

Women's 200 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 5dT 5dR 1cT 1cR 1.5cT 1.5cR 50-100m 100-150m 150-200m
1984 Summer 20 Los Angeles Swimming United States Final 2 1:59.50 28.40 1 58.08 1 1:28.60 1 29.68 (1) 30.52 (3) 30.90 (8)
1984 Summer 20 Los Angeles Swimming United States Round One Heat Four 1 Q 2:00.85 28.77 1 59.20 1 1:30.23 1 30.43 (1) 31.03 (1) 30.62 (1)
id: 51,244