Introduction - Martina Moravcova
became one of the greatest sports personalities in her
home country of Slovakia and for many years, she was one of the
leading female swimmers in the world.
Since winning her silver medal in the 100m freestyle at
the 1993 European Championships (LC), she rarely failed to win a
medal at a major championship.
incredible collection consists of 67 medals: 2-Olympic, 22-World
and 43-European medals. She broke 3-World, 16-European and
207-Slovak national records during her long lasting career. She
is also destined to go down in the FINA World Cup history for
winning amazing 105-gold medals and becoming the overall winner
of the World Cup Series three times.
In 1995 Martina
accepted a scholarship offer at Southern Methodist University in
Dallas, Texas. In only four and half years, Martina completed
two university degrees, an undergraduate degree in
business and a graduate degree in economics while earning 14
NCAA titles and many awards.
from SMU in 1999, she signed her first endorsement contract with
TYR Sports. She established herself as one the best and most
versatile swimmers in the world during that time, winning world
championship titles, European titles, breaking world and European
records. Only a few months later after winning 3 golds at the
World SC Championships in April 1999, Martina's form and health
deteriorated quickly. She was diagnosed with a thyroid
disorder - Grave's disease in the summer of 1999 and in August
she had a surgery to remove her thyroid glands. Despite of a
major health setback, she quickly got back on track with her
training regiment and continued to
impress. She won by her first Olympic medals in 2000 in Sydney.
Martina competed in five consecutive Olympic Games (1992-2008).
In 2004 Athens Olympic Games she placed 6th and 7th and did not
fulfill her medal ambitions. Four years later she has suffered
another health setback when she was diagnosed with another
autoimmune disorder - celiac
disease which has greatly impacted her performances. In 2010, at
the age of 34, she has shifted her athletic priorities and gave
birth to her first child, daughter Karolina. In 2011, during her
mother duties she briefly reassumed her training in an attempt
to qualify for the 6th Olympic Games. No female swimmer has ever
competed at six Olympic Games and only two male swimmers have
accomplished this endeavor thus far.
She placed her chances
to qualify solely on her "off event,” the 50m freestyle. The
odds did not play out to her benefit and she only traveled to
London 2012 as a spectator.
has officially retired from competitive swimming in December
2012. In 2013 she gave birth to her second child, son Michal.
She continues living in Dallas, TX with her husband, Martin
Valko, and their two young children.
She continues her involvment in swimming while serving
as a FINA Athlete commission member since 2009. In the
summer she organizes and personally coaches swim camps for young
a more in depth list of accomplishments
and awards go to
Born: January 16, 1976
Hometown: Piešťany, Slovakia
Residence: Dallas, TX and Piešťany, Slovakia
Family: Married, 2 children