Top Moments in Sacramento Women’s History: Alyssa Anderson

Sacramento has seen its fair share of Olympic swimmers.
by Jonathan Bradley

Sacramento added another athlete to its list of Olympic medalists when Granite Bay’s own Alyssa Anderson took home Gold during the 2012 Summer Olympics. 

Anderson was born in Santa Clara, CA but grew up in Sacramento and began her swimming career as a member of the Sierra Marlins Swim Team in Folsom. 

She attended Granite Bay High School, where as a senior in 2008, she became an Olympic hopeful after reeling in four straight National Championships and helping the United States take home the silver medal in the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in Rome. 

Anderson would make her first Olympic team in 2012 after she finished sixth during trials, which qualified her for a spot on the 4x200-meter freestyle U.S. relay team. That summer, she recorded a personal best in the 200-meter freestyle during preliminary heats en route to her first Olympic Gold Medal. 

The effort put Anderson in an elite class of Olympic swimmers from Sacramento, that includes the likes of Summer Sanders, Debbie Meyer and Mark Smits, that have taken home Olympic gold. 

Alyssa wasn’t the only Anderson to take a medal during the 2012 summer games. Her sister Haley, also a Granite Bay High School alum, secured a silver medal in the Open Water 10K Marathon after finishing just four-tenths of the second behind the eventual winner.  

Alyssa retired from competitive swimming after the London games while Haley continues to compete whenever she gets the opportunity, recently finishing sixth in the 2021 Olympic games in Tokyo. 

“We’re not superheroes,” Alyssa told Style Magazine in 2013. “We just worked hard and believed in ourselves...we never put a limit on our dreams.”

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