Amanda Beard made her first Olympic appearance at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games at the age of 14. She won silver medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststrokes, and a gold in the medley relay. Amanda Beard's young-teen manner captured the attention of the media, and she was often photographed clutching her teddy bear, even on the medal stand. Amanda won a bronze medal in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Amanda Beard then attended the University of Arizona, where she captured an individual NCAA Division I championship in 2001.
In 2003, Amanda became the world champion and world record holder in the 200-meter breaststroke. Amanda also made a good showing at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, and she competed in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, where she won a gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke; her first individual gold medal. Amanda Beard also won a silver medal in the 200-meter individual medley, and she finished fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke. Amanda has won eight US Nationals titles (thrice in both the 200 meter breaststroke and the 100 meter breaststroke, plus twice in the 200 meter individual medley). At the 2008 US Olympic Swim Trials, Amanda finished second in the 200 meter breaststroke event, and qualified for her fourth consecutive Olympics. In 2008, Amanda Beard was also elected co-captain of the US Olympic women's swimming team in Beijing, together with Dara Torres and Natalie Coughlin.
Amanda's modeling work has included appearances in FHM, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, and she posed for the July 2007 issue of Playboy magazine. Amanda Beard is also a spokeswoman for Defenders of Wildlife, and enjoys interior decorating. Both of her sisters, Leah and Taryn, are swimmers. In April 2008, Amanda Beard joined Fox Network's popular sports program, The Best Damn Sports Show, Period as a correspondent, covering major sporting events.
In her new candid and ultimately uplifting memoir, In The Water They Can't See You Cry, Amanda reveals the truth about coming of age in the spotlight, the demons she battled along the way, and the newfound happiness that has proved to be her greatest victory.