Ben Wildman-Tobriner

Benjamin Marshall Wildman-Tobriner (born September 21, 1984) is an American competition swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, and former world record-holder.

Ben Wildman-Tobriner
Personal information
Full nameBenjamin Marshall Wildman-Tobriner
Nickname(s)"Ben," "Wild Man,"[1] "Vildman"[2]
National team United States
Born (1984-09-21) September 21, 1984
San Francisco
Height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight201 lb (91 kg)
College teamStanford University

Early life

Wildman-Tobriner was born in San Francisco to Michael Tobriner and Stephanie Wildman, and is Jewish.[3] He grew up in San Francisco with his parents and older sister, Rebecca. He attended Lick-Wilmerding High School of San Francisco.[4] Wildman-Tobriner's paternal grandfather, Mathew Tobriner, served as a California Supreme Court Justice for 20 years.[2] He as of 2008 was a radiology resident at Duke University.[5]

Swimming career

Wilman-Tobriner began his career swimming for a local recreational team called Swimarin in the Marin Swim League until the age of 12. Even at that age, he managed to set several team, pool, and league records and become recognized for his talents. Around the age of 12, he joined the Fog City Hammerheads Swim Team under the instruction of the notable coach, Matthew "Berto" Roberto.

He attended Lick-Wilmerding High School, where he was a four-year varsity swimmer, and three-time MVP. While in high school he received numerous All-American awards for swimming excellence, and set the California North Coast Sectional record in the 50-yard (46 m) freestyle and achieving the second-fastest time for a 17- to 18-year-old male in the 50-meter freestyle in the United States. After graduating Lick-Wilmerding, Wildman-Tobriner attended Stanford University where, as well as swimming all four years, he graduated in 2007 as a Biomechanical Engineer.

Wildman-Tobriner is most famous for his achievements in the 50-meter freestyle. In the spring on 2007, he competed in the World Championships where he won the 50-meter freestyle in a time of 21.88 seconds. He had the former American record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 18.87 seconds. He currently has 1 NCAA gold medal for the 400 Medley Relay (2005) as well as more than a dozen All-Americans and Pac-10 championships.

In December 2007, Wildman-Tobriner injured his left pectoral tendon, completely separating it from the humerus bone. After surgery, he resumed training, at first swimming using only his right arm, with his left arm in a sling. By May 2008, he had recovered enough to compete again, finishing fourth in a race in Santa Clara.[6]

On July 3, 2008, Wildman-Tobriner qualified for the Olympic relay team as the second alternate in the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay. In Beijing, during the evening preliminary heats on August 10, he became a member of the World Record 4 × 100 m freestyle relay (3:12.23) by swimming the third leg in a time of 48.03. The next day, Wildman-Tobriner earned a gold medal (but lost the world record) when Jason Lezak swam down Alain Bernard in the final leg of the relay's final in world record time.[7]

See also


  1. "2008 Beijing Summer Olympics – Ben Wildman-Tobriner – Profile & Bio". NBC. 2008. Archived from the original on August 8, 2008.
  2. "USA Swimming – Athletes – Ben Wildman-Tobriner". United States Olympic Committee.
  3. Crouse, Karen (June 8, 2008). "Olympic Hopeful Is Facing Some Tough Choices". The New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2009.
  4. Eule, Brian (July–August 2008). "Ben Wildman-Tobriner". Stanford Magazine. 37 (4). pp. 46–47. Archived from the original on September 19, 2008.
  5. "Jewish swimmers pace U.S. to relay gold". JTA. August 11, 2008. Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
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