Melissa Louise Belote (born October 16, 1956), also known by her current married name Melissa Belote Ripley, is an American former competition swimmer, three-time Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in two events. She represented the United States at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics.
Belote c. 1972
|Full name||Melissa Louise Belote|
|National team||United States|
|Born||October 16, 1956|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Weight||132 lb (60 kg)|
|Club||Solotar Swim Club; Springfield Swim and Racquet Club|
|College team||Arizona State University|
At 15 years old, she won three gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. In the women's 100-meter backstroke, Belote defeated her American teammate and world-record holder Susie Atwood. In the women's 200-meter backstroke, Belote set a new world record of 2:19.19. She won a third gold medal by swimming the lead-off backstroke leg for the winning U.S. team in the women's 4×100-meter medley relay. She and her teammates Cathy Carr (breaststroke), Deena Deardurff (butterfly), and Sandy Neilson (freestyle) set a new world record of 4:20.75 in the relay final.
She attended Arizona State University, where she swam for the Arizona State Sun Devils swimming and diving team in Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) competition. She received the Honda Sports Award for Swimming and Diving, recognizing her as the outstanding college female swimmer of the year in 1976–77.
- List of members of the International Swimming Hall of Fame
- List of Arizona State University alumni
- List of multiple Olympic gold medalists
- List of Olympic medalists in swimming (women)
- List of World Aquatics Championships medalists in swimming (women)
- World record progression 200 metres backstroke
- World record progression 4 × 100 metres medley relay
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Melissa Belote.|
- Melissa Belote. Sports-Reference.com
- Clay Shampoe, The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, Acadia Publishing, Chicago, Illinois, p. 99 (2005). ISBN 978-0-7385-1776-6.
- Collegiate Women Sports Awards, Past Honda Sports Award Winners for Swimming & Diving. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
- International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees, Melissa Belote (USA). Retrieved October 21, 2012.
- Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, Inductees, Melissa Ripley. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
| Women's 200-meter backstroke
world record-holder (long course)
August 5, 1972 – July 7, 1974