Born: July 12, 1979
Town: Scotch Plains
Scott Daniel Goldblatt was born July 12, 1979 in Summit and grew up in Scotch Plains. Long, lean and athletic, he began swimming competitively at the age of 8 at the town swim club, starting a steady climb to national prominence that included stints at the local YMCA and, at age 12, the Berkeley Aquatic Club, where coach Jim Wood fine-tuned Scott’s freestyle technique.
By 1995, Scott was turning in world-class times and competed in the national championships for the first time at the age of 15. In 1997, after accepting a scholarship from legendary coach Eddie Reese to the University of Texas, Scott cracked the world’s Top 50 in freestyle. The summer after his high school graduation, he was on the US team that competed in the World University Games in Sicily and won silver in the 200 meters freestyle and gold as part of the 4 x 200 relay team.
At UT, Scott hit the water running. He was Big 12 champion in the 500-yard freestyle as a freshman, as well as a member of the conference title 4 x 200 relay team. The Longhorns won the relay event at the NCAA Championships and finished third overall. Scott repeated as Big-12 500-yard champ as a sophomore in 1999. In 2000, Texas won the NCAA Championships. Scott was a member of UT’s 4 x 200 relay team. Scott’s performance appeared to be leveling off by his junior year, but he took things up a notch at the Olympic Trials and made the team, finishing second in the 200 meters freestyle. In Sydney, he missed making the 200 final by .04 seconds—his contact lens dislodged into his goggles during qualifying—but was a member of the silver medal-winning 4 x 200 freestyle relay squad, with Josh Davis, Jamie Rauch and Klete Keller. The Australians won this event behind the powerhouse performance of Ian Thorpe.
The Longhorns repeated as NCAA champions during Scott’s senior year in 2001. He swam the first leg of the Longhorns’ victorious 4 x 200 team. He finished second in the 200 at the U.S. Championships and helped Team US win bronze in the 4 x 200 relay at the World Championships. In 2002, Scott won the 400-meter freestyle at the Spring Nationals, marking his first national title in any event. Scott qualified for the 2004 Olympics and won a gold medal as part of the 4 x 200 freestyle relay squad, but did not swim in the final. He was replaced in the first leg of the race by Michael Phelps, who captured a total of six gold medals in Athens. The US won the relay over Thorpe and the Aussies by less than 2/10ths of a second.
In 2005, Scott competed in the Maccabiah Games in Israel and took home gold in two relays, as well as silver and bronze in two individual events. After his competitive swimming career, Scott worked as a blogger and web manager in the tech industry and became an executive at the software company Aha Labs and has remained a passionate advocate for government support of Olympic sports. In 2020, Scott was one of more than 500 athletes and coaches that signed a letter to Congress urging passage of the Empowering Olympic and Amateur Athletes Act. Other aquatic greats included Donna de Varona, Debbie Meyer, Greg Louganis, Gary Hall (Sr. and Jr.) and Darra Torres.