If the name Natalie Coughlin doesn’t sound familiar, don't worry – she’ll be making a splash in the beauty world soon. She’s one of the most decorated female athletes in America and the newest member of the Pantene family. Joining the likes of Eva Mendes and Naomi Watts, Coughlin was chosen not just for her accomplishments as a two-time Olympic swimmer and 11-time Olympic medalist, but also for her strength, femininity, and dedication to a healthy lifestyle. As one of the first 11 athletes ever sponsored by the brand, her campaign will debut in June just before she heads across the pond to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games. Glam got a chance to chat with the champion about her training schedule and how she manages her marvelous mane with all that chlorine.
How did you partnership with Pantene come about?
I’ve been with the Pantene family since August of last year and we did the photo shoot [for the campaign] back in September, and then we filmed the commercial – which I still haven’t seen – in October. Pantene’s one of those iconic products that as a kid, I would beg my mom to buy me Pantene because it would make my hair feel so much better. So it was a pretty natural partnership, and it’s my first beauty partnership, so I’m really excited.
Which product do you think work best for your hair needs?
I have very long hair and so to have long hair it’s hard to be in the pool for four hours a day, in the ocean, in the sun. I get a lot of split ends so I use the Keratin Protection Crème – it’s the split end repair cream. It’s great for long hair and it helps seal the ends together and it protects and strengthens.
How have you been prepping for the Olympics?
I’m training like crazy. Right now I’ve been balancing my training and competition schedule with events [for Pantene] and I’ve been splitting my time between here and San Francisco. It’s been hectic, but from here on out I’ll just be training super hard and staying really focused. Olympic trials are at the end of June in Omaha, so that’s when I’ll qualify for the Olympics – fingers crossed – and then London is July 27th.
What do you hope to instill in fans of Pantene through your partnership?
The tagline that Pantene’s been using is “Healthy is the new beautiful,” and it’s so true. It’s great to see a company promote athletic, healthy bodies that are beautiful. It’s not one or the other. You don’t have to be a super thin, unhealthy model to feel beautiful. You don’t have to be a size zero. You can have muscle and have a normal form. I mean, I’ve worked hard for my body, and I’m very proud of it. I’m glad Pantene is recognizing that that is what’s beautiful.