Olympic Preview Part 8: Janet Evans Tried To Turn Back The Clock

Janet Evans four gold medalsThe biggest ovation in the women's 400 meter freestyle, at the recent Olympic swimming trials, was for a competitor who finished in 80th place, out of the 113 entrants.

Janet Evans, 40 and the mother of two young children, entered the 400 and 800 freestyles, ending a retirement of 16 years from competitive swimming.  

Evans won a total of four gold medals at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics and is considered the greatest female distance freestyler in US swimming history. Her windmill stroke earned her the nickname "Miss Perpetual Motion."

The Orange County (CA) native is also the owner of 24 national championships.

Evans did not medal in the1996 Atlanta Olympics, but is remembered as the athlete who carried the Olympic flame into the Olympic stadium, before making the final handoff to Muhammad Ali. 

She announced her retirement after the Atlanta games.