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100 days of Kansas City-area Olympians: Janie Wagstaff, swimming

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Posted at 8:00 AM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 09:00:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Janie Wagstaff was a swimming sensation in the early 1990s.

Wagstaff, a junior at Shawnee Mission East at the time, emerged as one of the best backstrokers in the world in 1991 and went on to compete in three events during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Wagstaff won national titles in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke during the 1991 U.S. Open Swimming Championships, swimming for the Kansas City Blazers.

That same year, she also collected a medley-relay gold and bronze medals in both individual races during the World Aquatic Championships as well as gold medals in the 100 backstroke and medley relay during the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. She won bronze in the 200 backstroke at the Pan Pacific meet.

One year later in Spain, Wagstaff won a gold medal with the U.S. 400-meter medley relay after swimming a leg during the preliminary round.

Individually, she finished fifth in the 100 backstroke and 17th in the 200.

An 11-time All-American at the University of Florida, Wagstaff left the Gators program after two seasons to train for the 1996 Atlanta Games, but failed to make the U.S. team.

The Kansas City region has a deep, rich history with respect to the Olympic Games. As the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games approach with the Opening Ceremony scheduled for July 23, we will profile an athlete with ties to Kansas City, Missouri or Kansas each day.

41 Action News and KSHB.com is your home of the Tokyo Olympics. Follow our coverage at kshb.com/sports/olympics and check out our complete list of 100 Kansas City-area Olympians as it is revealed.

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