Swimmer Amanda Beard won her first Olympic gold medal in 1996 at the summer games in Atlanta. Now 30, the swimming champion -- who has won seven medals at the Olympics -- is hoping to bring home more gold for the United States in her fifth consecutive Olympiad this summer in London.
Beard, who also has a successful sideline career as a model (including a nude spread in Playboy), recently penned "In the Water They Can't See You Cry" (Touchstone, $24.99). The revealing memoir gives readers a look at the struggles she faced with bulimia, learning disorders and broken relationships.
Beard lives in Tucson, Ariz., with her husband, photographer Sacha Brown, and their toddler son, Blaise. To read more about Beard, check out her website at http://www.swimlikeamom.com.
Q. You've traveled the world for swimming. Which places stand out?
A. My favorite cities have been Monte Carlo, Rome and Capetown. I love that swimming has allowed me to travel to so many destinations. As I grew older, I would extend my stay after my meets so I would be able to see more than just the pool and the hotel.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. Wakatobi (an archipelago in the Banda Sea off the coast of Indonesia). My husband and I actually got married there. It's a huge scuba-diving destination and we loved relaxing and enjoyed swimming and diving in the water. To this day, it has been one of my favorite places to scuba dive, simply because it felt like you were swimming in an overstocked aquarium.
Q. To someone who was going to Wakatobi for the first time, what would you recommend that they do during their visit?
A. Wakatobi Dive Resort (http://www.wakatobi.com) has a camp-like feeling. It has five-star chefs and three boat dives offered to you on a daily basis. The resort is very small and only holds 55 people with enough staff to meet your every need. I say this is a great place to go for a water lover, scuba diver or book reader. I would wake up every day to a gourmet breakfast, go for a quick swim in the 85 degree water, eat lunch and then enjoy a nice massage in their spa. It is the best place to unwind and hang with people you love.
Q. How important is it to you that Blaise grows up seeing other parts of the world?
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