| 18th Annual ATHENA International Leadership Summit
Celebrating 30 Years of Leadership
Global ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient
Olympic Gold Medalist
Micki King, is the 1972
Springboard Diving Olympic Gold Medalist. King, a retired US Air Force Colonel,
served 26 years on active duty. Her second career was Assistant Athletic at the
University of Kentucky where she served 14 years.
The native of Pontiac, Michigan,
graduated from the University
of Michigan in 1966,
where she was coached by five-time US Olympic Coach, Dick Kimball. King
competed in two Olympic Games, two Pan American Games, and won international
diving titles in 15 countries. She is an inductee in seven Hall of Fames,
including the prestigious United States Olympic Hall of Fame.
The gold medal she won in
Munich is one
of the Olympic Games’ most exciting comeback stories. In the 1968 Olympics at Mexico City, King was
leading the competition going into the final three dives. On the second of her
remaining dives, a miscalculation caused King to hit the board breaking her
left arm. Despite the mishap she gallantly tried her last dive, but dropped
from first to fourth. No medal.
During the four long
years between the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games, she did double duty with her Air
Force job and her intensive training program. She earned 10 national US diving
titles on the way to her second Olympics. It was in Munich, where Micki King captured her gold
medal doing the same dive she did with a broken arm four years earlier.
Following her Olympic
victory, King turned to coaching when she was assigned to the then all-male Air
Force Academy (1973-77). In 1974, her cadet diver won the NCAA Three Meter
title making King the first woman to coach a male to a NCAA championship (in
any sport) – a distinction she still holds today. King returned to the Academy
in 1983, to become the Assistant Athletics Director, while once again coaching.
She was named NCAA coach of the year three times and coached 11 All-Americans,
including two women cadets with three national titles between them.
While training for the
Munich Games in the early 70’s, King actively supported Title IX which became
Law in 1972. Once retired from competition, she turned her focus to Athlete
Rights and was elected by her Olympic peers to serve as the first Athletes
Advisory Council (AAC) president (1973-78). King also served on President
Gerald Ford’s “Commission to Study Olympic Sports.” The findings from this
historic commission led to the passage of the Amateur Sports Act of 1978.
In addition to her hands
on work with the Girl Scouts Regional Council in Kentucky, King is dedicated to the US
Olympians/Paralympians project, World Fit, taking action against Child Obesity.
She also serves on the USA Diving Foundation. King has two grown children. She
resides in Lexington, Kentucky.