Anthony Ervin

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Anthony Lee Ervin (born May 26, 1981) is an American competition swimmer who has won four Olympic medals and two World Championship golds. At the 2000 Summer Olympics, he won a gold medal in the men's 50-meter freestyle, and earned a silver medal as a member of the second-place United States relay team in the 4×100-meter freestyle event. He was the second swimmer of African descent after Anthony Nesty of Suriname to win an individual gold medal in Olympic swimming. He is the first United States citizen of African descent to medal gold in an individual Olympic swimming event. In 2017 he knelt for the National Anthem prior to the start of a competition in Brazil.

Ervin stopped swimming competitively at the age of 22 in 2003 and auctioned off his 2000 Olympic gold medal on eBay to aid survivors of the 2004 tsunami, but he began to train again in 2011.

Ervin competed in the 50-meter freestyle event at the 2012 Summer Olympics where he placed fifth. In the spring of 2016, Akashic Books released Ervin's memoir, Chasing Water, co-authored by Ervin and Constantine Markides. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, 16 years after his first Olympic gold medal, he won the event for the second time, at the age of 35, becoming the oldest individual Olympic gold medal winner in swimming.

Ervin is African-American and Jewish, and was born in Hollywood. He is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent on his mother's side and African-American and Indian-American descent on his father's. He was raised in Valencia, Santa Clarita, California. Ervin has described himself as a "Zen Buddhist". He practices Zen meditation.