Multiple Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin modeling O’Neill’s new sportswear line for women, O’Neill 365. All photos courtesy O’Neill 365.
If you’re a fan of the Olympics, you probably know Natalie Coughlin for her status as one of the most decorated swimmers in history. She’s won 12 Olympic medals, after all, and 48 in international competition. But Coughlin, who hails from Lafayette, California, wears many hats outside of swimming. She’s a cook and foodie, having appeared as a judge on “Iron Chef America,” she’s a model, having been featured in Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue, and she’s even been a reality TV star, as she danced on the ninth season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
Coughlin is also an avid surfer in her spare time, and for one of her most recent projects she’s teamed up with iconic surf brand O’Neill for the launch of their new sportswear line for women, O’Neill 365. To get the dish on the new line and what’s ahead for the busy swimmer, public figure, and brand ambassador, GrindTV asked Coughlin a few questions. Here’s what she had to say.
GrindTV: Can you tell us a little about the O’Neill 365 line and what you like about it? How did you get involved with it, and did you have any input in terms of the line’s design?
Natalie Coughlin: The 365 line is designed to be functional athletic wear that is fashionable enough to be worn outside the gym. I’ve had input in the design process such as fit, materials, and color combinations, and I’m extremely proud of how the line had turned out.
GrindTV: Is your love for surfing partly what inspired you to get involved with O’Neill, since it’s such an iconic surf brand?
NC: O’Neill is an iconic surf brand, especially in my home of Northern California. I love anything having to do with the beach, surfing included. I was beyond excited when I learned that O’Neill wanted to partner with me.
GrindTV: Can you talk a little about your love of the ocean and surfing? Have you ever been on a memorable surf trip? Or do you have any dream surf trips that you hope to one day take?
NC: I have a lot of family in Kauai, which is where my love of the ocean started. I would spend at least a month with
my family there every summer growing up. One of my older cousins taught me how to surf when I was six years old on my favorite beach in the world: Queen’s Pond on Kauai. My favorite trips to Queen’s Pond included overnight camping stays on the beach. We’d play in the ocean all day and cook over the campfire at night. It was perfect!
GrindTV: We’ve read that you do a significant amount of dry-land training. Can you give us some insights into the workouts you do outside of the pool?
NC: I’ve been practicing Pilates for nearly a decade and I believe it’s wonderful cross-training for any sport. It teaches you how to use your body in the way that it is designed to work. I also run, do yoga, and lift weights in addition to my swim training.
GrindTV: You’re known for organic gardening and healthy eating. Are there any strategies or tips you have for getting all the right nutrition from food?
NC: Variety is so important to me! Not only does it keep things interesting, but it allows you to get a variety of minerals and nutrients. I follow a plant-based diet, very heavy on veggies and fruits. I eat pastured, organic meat sparingly. The easiest way to get a lot of nutrition into your body, in an easily digested way, is through a green smoothie. I whip up a couple days worth of my smoothies and keep them in mason jars in the fridge. Using my Vitamix, I puree kale, romaine, spinach, parsley, coconut water, celery, apple, banana, pear, and lemon juice.
GrindTV: We saw via Twitter that you recently enjoyed your first full week back in training since the Olympics. Can you give us an idea of what your day-to-day is like?
NC: I swim six days a week and lift weights four times a week in addition to mat Pilates daily. Although I’m quite sore, I’m loving every second of it.
GrindTV: Since the Olympics there has been a lot of talk about whether or not you will retire soon. While Rio is a long way off, have you made any decisions about it?
NC: I never said I was planning on retiring; I just didn’t want to look to the future until the Olympics were behind me. My focus right now is on qualifying for the World Championships this summer in Barcelona, Spain. After this season, I’ll reevaluate and look ahead. Another four years is probably in the picture.
GrindTV: Good luck with everything, Natalie! And thanks for taking the time to speak with us.