Swimmer Summer Sanders became an American sports icon in 1992 when she returned from the Barcelona Olympic Games with four medals under her belt, including individual gold in the 200 meter butterfly. Since then, the now 44-year old athlete has remained in the public eye thanks to her involvement with numerous TV shows and charitable endeavors. Blasting News connected exclusively with Sanders on March 9 and the conversation covered a range of topics, from her vacation preferences and her time on "Celebrity Apprentice" to the item that she values just as much as her gold medal and why she hasn't yet appeared as a celebrity contestant on "Dancing with the Stars."

Sherry Wight: It's been a water-logged winter here in Northern California so we're definitely looking forward to a hopefully dry Spring break [and Summer].

What can we do to plan a crowd-pleaser of a getaway?

Summer Sanders: You know, I'm from Roseville, California and my family still lives there, so I know how much rain you've gotten and how delicate that sentence is because you need rain so much but yeah, we all need a break. Where I am right now is in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania in a place called Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. [It features] the world's largest indoor water park... 220,000 square feet of fun for everyone. You've got the thrill-seeker water sides, you've got the lazy river, you've got a toddler play section, and... all of the lounge area where grandparents can sit and watch with joy as their grandkids are screaming down the water slide. Those are the things that I look for: the one of a kind experience. I also like that you're not relying on [the weather] because it's indoor.

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SW: Sounds like fun! I'm originally from the east coast so I'm familiar with the Poconos. Now I'm sure nothing would ever happen there, but sometimes when we're vacationing, things can go a little bit wrong. What's your vacation oops story?

Summer Sanders: Oh my gosh. You know, I have to say I don't know if I have one... and here's the reason: every oops to me is an awesome memory. I've been stranded in airports and I've seen the beauty of strangers coming together. So these kids didn't know each other and there's only one iPad that's working and your plane is delayed and you don't know how long you're going to be there, but they all come together with their blankets, you get them in their PJs, and they snuggle up and they're watching a movie on the floor of the airport. Now that's an oops; as a parent you're probably thinking 'that's the worst thing ever,' but it's one of the greatest memories your kids will have because it was the imperfect that became perfect.

Summer Sanders' Olympic treasure

SW: Great story! One of your biggest trips in the past way to the Olympic Games.

Now so much has happened in your life since Barcelona, but take me back to '92 for a minute: you came away with four medals, including the gold in the 200 meter fly. Looking back on it, whose faces pop into your mind as the people who were there for you the most?

SS: You know what, Sherry, it's a beautiful picture that I have, and thank goodness somebody had the camera pointed in the stands and not at me in the finish. But I have this picture of everyone that I love that was there. So, of course I love my teammates, but this is my family: my best friend from college, my aunt, my brother, my dad, and my mom. And somehow, all their faces and that moment and that expression... is experienced in that photograph, and it's so perfect. My dad's fist is raised, and in the L of his arm is my brother's face. So somehow it's all captured right there, and it's literally one of my greatest treasures. It's right up there with the medal itself.

But the moment I touched the wall I felt relief because I'd finally done it; it was my last race at the end of a very long and exciting and tumultuous week, but I wanted to immediately jump up into the stands. I wanted my family just to... smother me and export me back home to Roseville, California.

SW: Wow, what a terrific keepsake. I'd want to hug the photographer, if I could figure out who it was. Now, you're a sports icon for sure, but you're also something of a reality TV star: "Skating with Celebrities," you've appeared on "Rachel Versus Guy," "The Apprentice." What would you call your most enjoyable appearance to date in that particular realm?

SS: I think the one that required the most guts was going on "Celebrity Apprentice" and playing for my charity, Right to Play. I knew what that show was about and that it might get confrontational at times and that's not me at all, but it meant a lot when I won my task and I got to say "Right to Play" on national television with millions of people watching. That was the whole reason I did the show. So for me, challenge-wise, that was the most challenging for me: out of my comfort zone, but I knew it was most rewarding for my charity that I love so much. I've been a part of Right to Play now for 20 years. I'm on the board and have been to Africa many times.

'Dancing with the Stars' in the future?

SW: I have to ask this because it's almost become my signature question at this point: one thing that's notably missing from your impressive resume is an appearance on "Dancing with the Stars."

SS: Okay, do you want to hear the story? They contacted me the first two seasons... and asked if I would do it. I was hosting a show called "Inside Stuff" in New York, so to fly back every week for "Inside Stuff" and interview basketball players during the week, and also I didn't know what this show was: "Dancing with the Stars"? I'm not a dancer. And all I saw was my brother and all my friends heckling me. So I didn't have the guts to go for it and it didn't fit in my schedule and I wasn't going to fight for it. So I turned it down [twice], and then I did "Skating with Celebrities" on FOX, and once I did that, I went back to "Dancing with the Stars" and said "any way I can be on it?" but because I did that show on FOX and they are ABC, they said "nope, your time has come and gone."

SW: Oh man! They shut you down!

SS: But you know, you never know. There's a time and a place for everything.

SW: Touche, touche. So what is on your calendar for the next couple months?

Summer Sanders: My show "We Need to Talk" is starting back up. It's our third season on CBS Sports Net. It's an all-female sports talk show. Award-winning, I might add, because we have some really amazing women on that show. But we'll be talking about... the upcoming NFL season, maybe even European football. Exciting stuff.