Born: Oct. 16, 1953
Known for: As a Rio Americano High sophomore, Pedersen won two gold medals and two silver medals in swimming events at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
Background: Pedersen, along with teammate Debbie Meyer, was trained by Sherm Chavoor at the Arden Hills Swim Club. Called "the baby of the American Olympic team," Pedersen celebrated her 15th birthday at the Mexico City Games. She won gold medals in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay and the 4x100-meter medley relay events and silver medals in the 100-meter freestyle and the 200-meter individual medley events. Shortly after the Olympics, Pedersen retired from competitive swimming after compiling six national championships and setting nine American records. She eventually moved to Washington state and became a certified public accountant.
A highlight: Pedersen set a world record time of 59.0 seconds in the 100-meter freestyle event at the 1968 Olympic Trials in Los Angeles. She swam a 1:00.3 in the event in Mexico, trailing U.S. teammate Jan Henne by 0.3 seconds. She was selected to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1995.
In History's Spotlight profiles of Sacramento newsmakers were originally published in 2007 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of The Sacramento Bee. They were written by Anthony Sorci. Look for them every Sunday in Sac History Happenings.