Christine Magnuson


  • Birthday: October 17, 1985
  • Hometown: Tinley Park, Illinois
  • College: University of Tennessee '09- Exercise Science


2010 Pan Pacific Silver Medalist (100m butterfly) and Bronze Medalist (50m butterfly)
2009 SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year
2-time Olympic Medalist (Silver: 100m butterfly, 4x100m medley relay)
2008 NCAA National Champion (100y butterfly)
2008 SEC Women’s Swimmer of the Year
23-time NCAA All-American
SEC Academic All-American


Christine Magnuson is one of the great female butterfliers in history. In fact, she is the 2nd-fastest American ever in the 100 fly. The event has taken her to new heights, including two World Championship teams in 2009 and 2011, along with two Olympic medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and a spot among the fastest women of all-time.

Christine reached the pinnacle of her craft by training in Tucson, Arizona with some of the best that the sport has ever seen (including several years under National Team head coach Frank Busch). She has not always been in that elite class, though.

Christine Magnuson

Whereas many Olympians can be pegged by their dedication at very young ages by swimming year-round and practicing for hours every week, Magnuson didn’t fit that mold as an age-group swimmer.

She grew up training with a self-described very average swimming program, and at that, only during the summer. When she got to high school; however, she learned the most important lesson that any swimmer can learn.

“I learned to work in high school,” Magnuson puts simply when asked about where her swimming career turned.

Though not the norm, Magnuson is one of those great swimming stories where an athlete’s near-endless promise only began to show as college decisions loomed. Her’s is a story that is all about attitude.

Every time she steps behind the blocks, she picks out a swimmer in every field that she wants to beat. For the next minute of racing, she focuses on nothing other than getting to the wall before that target.

She also understands that to be a flexible swimmer – a truly great swimmer – she must be prepared for any race. That’s why she refuses to be pigeon-holed into a single event. Throughout her career, she has strived for versatility by working as much to perfect each of the four strokes as she does her preferred butterfly.

As one of the country’s best butterfliers in 2011, one would expect that Magnuson would have spent the Olympic year in 2012 on some fine-tuning while gunning for an Olympic Team. Instead, Magnuson continued what she had always done: she worked on every set, on every stroke, and on every distance.

Christine Magnuson

That paid off as she suddenly found herself in the position of being one of the country’s top 50 freestylers. In late 2011, she suddenly started breaking personal bests in the 50 free, culminating in a third-place finish at the 2012 Olympic Trials and a spot on the 2012 World Championship Team that traveled to Istanbul.

This makes her the embodiment of a professional athlete. She attacks every challenge, every workout, and every race with the same vigor and zeal regardless of where it falls in the spectrum of the sport. That do-it-all attitude of constant preparation allows her to always be ready to grab great success when great opportunities present themselves.

Magnuson loves working with developing swimmers to slow down and figure out the best possible stroke technique before diving head-long into a hard set. Book her for your next Fitter and Faster clinic!

Chloe SuttonClaire Donahue