Anthony Ervin is an American swimmer, winner of two Olympic medals, and a member of Team USA at the 2000 Sydney and 2012 London Olympic Games.
Ervin (born May 26, 1981) was born in Los Angeles, California to a Jewish mother and African-American father. Though he considers himself as a "practicing Zen Buddhist," Ervin has said, "I’m proud of my Jewish heritage. I’m proud of everything that makes me who I am. All of that makes me a unique person, just like anyone else.”
As a teenager, Ervin began swimming competitively at the Canyons Athletic Club in Santa Clarita and he also competed for his high school swim team. After high school, Ervin enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with a BA in English in 2010. At Berkeley, Ervin was a three time NCAA champion in the 100-meter freestyle event, a three time champion in the 400-meter freestyle, a one time champion in the 50-meter freestyle, and a 27-time NCAA All-American.
So far, at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Ervin has competed in three events: the Men's 50m Freestyle Finals, Men's 50m Freestyle Semifinals, and the Men's 50m Freestyle Heats. He ranked third in the Men's 50m Freestyle Finals with a time of 21.62 seconds; ranked third with a time of 21.62 seconds in the Semifinals; and second in the Heats at 21.83 seconds.
At the 2000 Team USA Olympic Trials in Indianapolis, Ervin competed in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle events. In the final of the 100-meter freestyle, Ervin finished fifth with a time of 49.29 seconds, ensuring him a spot on the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. In the final of the 50-meter freestyle, Ervin finished in second place behind Gary Hall Jr. with a time of 21.80 seconds, giving him his second Olympic qualifier.
At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Ervin won gold in the 50-meter freestyle event, tying with American Gary Hall Jr. with a time of 21.98 seconds. Ervin also won a silver medal as part of the 4×100-meter freestyle relay team - a team that included fellow Jewish swimmer Jason Lezak - as the Australian team beat them out in world record time.
Ervin medaled again at the 2001 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, taking home gold in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle events. In March 2001, Ervin was elected to the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
In 2003, at the age of 22, Ervin stopped swimming competitively and auctioned off his 2000 Olympic gold medal to aid survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
In 2011, however, Ervin returned to training and in 2012 he qualified in the 50-meter freestyle event to join Team USA at the London Olympics.