Mel Stewart was a butterfly specialist, with the 200 fly his best event. He swam in high school at Mercersburg Academy in Philadelphia, and then followed his high school coach to the University of Tennessee. While at Tennessee he won the NCAA title twice in the 200-yard butterfly. Stewart won US titles in the 200 fly 14 times, long- and short-course, a US record for a single event. He swam at the 1988 Olympics, placing fifth in the 200 fly, but by 1992 he was the best 200 butterfly swimmer in the world. He won the 200 fly at the 1987, 1989, and 1991 Pan Pacific Championships, at the 1991 World Championships, and capped it off with gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. In Barcelona, Stewart also won gold in the medley relay, and a bronze in the 4x200 free relay. He set one world record in the 200 fly, at the 1991 Worlds. He was, unusually, a side-breather in his butterfly stroke.
Stewart later entered the entertainment world, appearing in several films and on ESPN’s show “American Outback.” He also wrote several screenplays. Stewart co-founded and produced the website, www.swimswam.com, and his company, Gold Medal Media, LLC, produced and directed commercials.
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