Sandy Neilson-Bell

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Sandy Neilson-Bell
Sandy Neilson-Bell (born March 20, 1956 in Burbank, California) is a former world-class freestyle swimmer from the United States, who won three golden medals as a 16-year old high school sophomore at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. One of those golden medals came in the 100-meter freestyle, where Neilson defeated favorites Shane Gould from Australia and her USA teammate Shirley Babashoff.

She also won a gold in the 100-meter freestyle and 400-meter relay and a silver in the medley relay at the 1971 Pan American Games. She set 3 world records in relays during her career and 4 American records. She won 2 AAU National Championship titles and 2 AIAW Championship titles.

In 1986 she was inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Swimmer.

She manages the pool competitions and open water swimming events sanctioned and organized by the American Swimming Association together with her husband Dr. Keith Bell. Whether it was in the pool or open water, she helped redefine what an adult swimmer can do in the pool and open water swimming. At the age of 28, she swam more than a second under her 1972 Olympic record time of 58.59. "I want to swim as fast as I can for as long as I can."

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