Patricia Keller McCormick is one of those larger-than-life Olympic athletes. She is the first and only woman in history to win a “double-double” – two gold medals in two consecutive Olympic Games.
At seventeen-years-old, Pat Keller missed making the 1948 United States Olympic diving team by less than .01 point. Instead of giving up, she made it her goal to make the 1952 Olympic diving team and, furthermore, she determined she’d win a gold medal. Her dreams were more than fulfilled. Not only did Pat make the diving team in 1952, but she won gold medals in both the platform and springboard diving events. What’s more, she went to the Olympics again in 1956 and won the gold for the same two events again. In recognition of her remarkable athletic achievements, “Sports Illustrated” named her “Athlete of the Year” and the Associated Press and United Press International dubbed her “Woman of the Year”. That same year she also received the nation’s top amateur athlete award, the Sullivan Award.
But it doesn’t stop there. Pat’s fame afforded her many opportunities and she used that fame to give back to her community. Pat McCormick is involved with many charities and is well-known for her work among disadvantaged youth. She is founder of “Pat’s Champs”, a work involving children labeled “high risk” by educators. Most of these kids come from broken homes where the parents have substance abuse problems. Pat works with these kids, helping them find a way out of their dead-end existence.