Celebrated Olympic Medalist and TED Talk Presenter to Speak at Westminster

Westminster College is excited to announce that world record breaker and Olympic swimmer Katie Hoff will speak at noon on Oct. 18 in the lecture hall of Coulter Science Center. Her talk, titled “Relentless Leadership,” is a kick-off event for Homecoming 2019 and the College’s year-long celebration of 40 years of women at Westminster.

A recent TED Talk speaker, Hoff won three medals — two silver and one bronze — during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She later walked away with gold medals at the 2010 and 2011 World Championships in Dubai and Shanghai, respectively.

Hoff’s high-profile awards follow a career of “firsts.” She became the youngest Olympian on the 2004 swimming squad at the age of 15. In 2005, Hoff set her first American record in the 200 individual medley and won three gold medals at the World Championships. In 2007, she won three gold medals and broke two world records in the 400 individual medley and 4 x 200 freestyle relay. Hoff broke the world record again in the 400 individual medley at the 2008 Olympic trials, where she captured two American records on the same night in the 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley.

Hoff received Sportswoman of the Year in 2005 and 2007 from the U.S. Olympic Committee. She was U.S.A. Swimming’s Female Swimmer of the Year in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Hoff remains the American record holder in the 400-meter individual medley.

Between 2012 and 2016, Hoff was forced to retire as a result of a pulmonary embolism in her lungs. Today she can move and work out normally, but the damage to her lungs makes it difficult to compete at world-class form. She dedicates her time to giving back to the swimming community through clinics and speaking engagements, including her most recent TED Talk.

Hoff resides in New York City with her husband, Todd, of four years. She works for Equinox in corporate wellness and enjoys spending time with her French bulldog, Ally.

Founded in 1851, Westminster College is a small, premiere, private liberal arts college nestled in the hills of central Missouri. The College focuses on helping all students find their unique purpose while educating and inspiring them to become young leaders who change the world. To learn more about Westminster College, visit our website here.



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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is a Media and Content Strategist at Westminster College in Fulton, MO. A 1992 graduate of the College, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communication in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.