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Interview
Summer Sanders in a swimming pool

Speedo, Suncare, and Swimming: Meet Summer Sanders

BWB had the chance to speak with former Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders and learn more about the things that help her feel strong & healthy.

Decorated Olympic swimmer, sports commentator, television icon, athlete, mother. Summer Sanders is the perfect example of a woman who tirelessly seizes every feasible ounce of success in her life and work. As she moves away from her competitive swimming legacy and powerhouse athletic career, she now takes the much needed time for self-care, relaxation, and nourishment– as all working women should! BWB had the chance to speak with Summer and learn more about the things that help her feel strong, healthy, successful, and protected from the sun.

Tell us about your partnership with Speedo USA, specifically around their UV-blocking swimwear and apparel.

Although I’m no longer an official part of “Team Speedo” as a competitive athlete, I’m still proud to wear Speedo USA in and around the water. They continue to lead the way in providing sun-protective swimwear and coverups for men, women and children– something that is vitally important to me and my family. I’m proud to share my story and inspire others to take sun safety seriously year-round during all outdoor activities, not just on vacation or at the beach.

Speedo Promotional Photo, SPF surf gear

What led you to be more sun-conscious?

I have always been sun-conscious while on vacation, but never while I was training. My sun world was rocked when I was diagnosed with my first Melanoma in October of 2014. That was a game changer for me and my family, and that is when I learned about sun-protective clothing.

What is your routine these days to protect yourself from too much sun? Any useful tips for adults (and children)?

I try to get out for my run earlier in the morning or run on the treadmill if it is too sunny or hot. I always apply sunscreen on the back of my legs when out and about or when the sun is intense. I make my kids apply sunscreen many times when out in the summer and during their school day. Hats and protective clothing are a must when everyone is tired with reapplying their sunscreen.

Summer Sanders jogging outdoors

What are your favorite beauty products? (Sun protection and other beauty products, skincare or makeup)

I love La Roche-Posay for anytime, anywhere. I have grown up with Coppertone Sport when I am exercising or at the beach, and I love IMAGE Daily Face Moisturizer and Sunscreen for my everyday life. My friends introduced me to Goop sunscreen just recently. And my daughter loves Coola (she has sensitive skin), especially upon re-application. I also live in Park City, Utah, which is ridiculously dry, especially in the winter time, so a good moisturizer is key! I use Caudalie products and make sure to wash my face with a gentle exfoliator at least three times a week.

You have had an incredible career. Could you share a memorable moment with our readers?

I have had so many memorable moments. My fondest memory from my swimming career was when Stanford University won the NCAA’s in 1992. The joy of being a part of that team and experiencing that moment with those amazing women is hard to beat. We got second place in 1991 – and that stung quite a bit – so training at Stanford for the 1992 NCAA championships and the Olympic Trials (which were back-to-back weeks) was an intense and unforgettable experience that I will cherish forever.

Summer Sanders posing in the middle of the street

What is your wellness routine? (sports/meditation/breathing/etc.)

Running is my heart; swimming is my soul.

I try very hard not to sweat the small stuff, like delayed flights, traffic, or messed up schedules with kids’ activities. I also celebrate life to its fullest. I just told my daughter the other day about a special trip I was planning to New York City, and she said, “What is it for mom? What are we celebrating?” I responded, “Life. You have to celebrate each day!”

I try to make things happen when I think of them instead of saying, “There will always be time for that later.” No time like the present. I love looking forward to special outings, and I cherish my family above all else.

I eat everything in moderation. I have never denied myself a certain food or indulgence because it had too many calories. I am very capable of taking a few bites and being satisfied. (My mom taught me that one!)

Sleep is my most valued vitamin. I have friends who will get up at 5 a.m. to run, and I just can’t do that anymore. I love and appreciate my sleep so very much at this stage of my life.

“What is it for mom? What are we celebrating?” I responded, “Life. You have to celebrate each day!”

What are your favorite healthy foods and snacks?

Cut up fruit, sliced veggies (peppers, cucumbers, carrots) with hummus, unsalted nuts…I really can’t stand things that are too salty. I have been accused of drinking too much water, but it is one of my favorite beverages! In the summertime, you are never too old for an all-fruit popsicle. We love almost any veggie roasted…broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts. Spaghetti squash does not get the credit it deserves – if you want fewer carbs but still want your Italian food, roast a spaghetti squash. We are also a huge omelet family, especially for dinner.

Photos courtesy of Summer Sanders and Speedo

Teresa Deely

Teresa Deely is a junior at Columbia University majoring in English and Creative Writing. As President of the Columbia University Glee Club, she loves to sing, make music, and celebrate multiple modes of artistic expression. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. While she has spent most of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.

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