Born in Canton, Allison Schmitt began her swimming career at just 9 years old. She found success very quickly specializing in freestyle events. She made her Olympic debut at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, winning a bronze medal as a member of the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. Four years later, at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she won a total of five medals, three gold, in the 200-meter freestyle (which set an Olympic record – 1:53.61), 4x200-meter freestyle relay, and in the 4x100-meter medley relay (which set a new world record – 3:52.05). She also won a silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle, and a bronze medal in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. In the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she earned the gold in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay, and a silver medal in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay.
In total, Schmitt has won 17 medals in major international competitions, including 11 gold, five silver, and two bronze. These medals span across the Summer Olympics, the FINA World Championships, the Pan Pacific Championships and the Pan American Games. She was also a four-time NCAA national champion in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle events, and was a part of the University of Georgia Bulldogs team that won the NCAA Division 1 Women’s team title in 2013.