Anne Warner Cribbs

Anne Warner Cribbs’ swimming career started when she was five at the local pool in Menlo Park, California. Anne went on to win gold as a 14 year-old swimmer

at the 1959 Pan American Games. A year later, she competed at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games. Holder of the American records in both the one hundred and two hundred meter breast-stroke events, she placed fifth in the 200 Meter Breaststroke at the Rome Olympics and was a member of the gold medal-winning, 400-meter medley relay team. Anne retired from competitive swimming at the age of sixteen. Few high schools and no universities had women’s competitive swimming teams, Title IX did not exist and so there were no more mountains to climb.

Anne Cribbs’ professional career has been dedicated to serving sport and the community. In 1995, Anne co-founded the American Basketball League (ABL), the first women’s professional basketball league in the United States so that after college, female basketball players could play basketball – an American game, on American soil, in the traditional basketball season. During its existence, the ABL set the standard for what women’s professional sports could and should become, creating a permanent legacy and forever changing the paradigm.

Cribbs became President and CEO of the San Francisco Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee (BASOC) in 1999, and led the San Francisco 2012 Olympic Bid. Highlights of her work include consolidating political support, including Mayors, County Boards of Supervisors, the Governor’s office and State Legislature. The Bid enjoyed 90% public support, rallied the support of 400 Northern California Olympians and 150 Paralympians, utilized the talents of over 1600 volunteers and reached out to community groups throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco won the silver medal to New York City in the voting for the 2012 U.S. Candidate City but Anne Cribbs’ work left a huge legacy, which continues to be felt in Northern California. Cribbs was asked by San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee to be one of the three co-directors of the San Francisco 2024 Olympic Bid. Anne worked on this Olympic effort for 2 years but in January 2015 the USOC awarded the US Candidate City to Boston which ultimately changed to Los Angeles for 2024.

Cribbs served as the Chair of the 40th Anniversary of San Francisco’s Three Day Celebration of Ping Pong Diplomacy (June 2011). This historic event recognized the anniversary of the beginning of normal diplomatic relations between China and the United States. US and Chinese “ping pong” players were the catalyst for this thaw. The anniversary included a delegation from the Chinese Olympic Committee and China Table Tennis, USA Table Tennis and the veteran players who participated in the original matches in China and the United States. San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee hosted the delegations and held a press conference at San Francisco City Hall. The visit included a symposium on the importance of sport to build relationships in the world, an exhibition featuring the veterans and current Olympians and a players and coaches clinic for San Francisco area youth and coaches. Chinese Consul General Gao hosted a reception in their honor. In December 2011, Cribbs traveled to China with the USA Table Tennis Delegation for a reciprocal visit.

Cribbs continues to serve as the President/CEO of BASOC. Under Cribbs’ leadership, she organized the 2006 FINA World Masters Championships – 7800 competitors from 75 countries. Cribbs organized the 2007 World Junior Table Tennis Championships, held at Stanford University in December 2007 featuring 196 competitors from 36 countries.

Cribbs was the Director of 2011 USA Swimming National and Junior National Championships at Stanford – the largest National Swimming competition, held over two weeks, featuring nearly 4000 swimmers, 600 coaches, and officials from across the United States. The event was broadcast live for five nights on NBC.

Cribbs served as the President and CEO of the 2009 Summer National Senior Games, - 18 medal sports, 7 demonstration sports and 10,000 competitors over age fifty, qualifying from all 50 states - the largest multi-sport event in the United States.

Appointed Chair of the California Senior Games Association (CSGA) in 2008, she led the 2011 and 2012 California Senior Games Championships with 2000 athletes and 25 sports, a legacy of the 2009 Summer National Senior Games. The Bay Area Senior Games began in 2006 and continues annually at Stanford and other Bay Area venues and are now in their 10th year. The CSGA oversees six regional Senior Games in California plus one State Championship.

Other events Anne Cribbs has spearheaded included the January 2014 WFG Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas featuring Team North America vs. Team World. This event was held for the first time outside of Canada and set attendance records with more than 45,000 spectators over the course of the four- day tournament. A record 36 of the 50 competitors used the 2014 Continental Cup as a warm up, going on to represent their countries in Sochi in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Adding to Cribbs’ event list are the 2004 Men’s World Rink Hockey Championships, Palo Alto City’s Leave Your Car at Home Day, Palo Alto’s Black & White Ball, The Palo Alto Run Club, The Welcome Home Olympians Dinner held every four years since 1984 –which raises funds for the Northern California Olympians (NCO) Travel and Training grant program for Olympic hopefuls. The NCO is acknowledged by the USOC as one of the outstanding Olympic alumni chapter in the country.

With her public and community relations firm, Anne Cribbs & Company, her clients have included: The Monterey Horse Park (a legacy project of the San Francisco 2012 Bid), the annual 2006, 07, 08, 10, 11,12,13,14 and 2015 Bay Area Senior Games, the 2008 U.S. Olympian Reunion (a three day event in San Jose, CA), the 2012 US Olympian Alumni Association’s Walk to London 2012. Cribbs coordinated and directed the Rich May Memorial Golf Classic, to raise funds to build the first full sized soccer/field in East Palo Alto, which will officially open on April 11th 2015. Cribbs just produce the 2016 United States Olympian and Paralympian Reunion in Las Vegas with 350+ Olympians attending.

Cribbs has a considerable portfolio of Board positions, including President of the Northern California Olympians and now Chairman Emeritus, past Vice-President of the U.S. Olympic Alumni Association, San Jose Sports Authority Board Chair (1997-2000), founding Chair of WISE – SF (Women in Sports and Events) a member of the Advisory Council of BAWSI (Bay Area Woman’s Sports Initiative), the Advisory Board Member for the Women’s Sports Foundation. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of USA Table Tennis and the Rich May Foundation. Cribbs is serving as a commissioner for the City of Palo Alto Parks and Recreation Department.

Cribbs is a frequent guest lecturer at Stanford University School of Business, the Sports Management Program at the University of San Francisco, San Jose State and the University of Pacific. She is also an Olympian advisor to NBC Bay Area.

A California native, currently residing in Palo Alto, Cribbs received her AA degree from Foothill College in 1974, receiving the President’s Medal for the outstanding female graduate. Cribbs went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Stanford University. She is a past member of the Stanford Athletic Board and has a Block S from Stanford.

Cribbs was inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, and is also a member of the San Mateo County Hall of Fame and the Menlo Atherton High School Hall of Fame. She is the winner of the City of Palo Alto’s Tall Tree Award. Cribbs received the 2012 America SCORES – Bay Area 2012 Legacy Award and the 2013 Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce’s Athena Award. Anne received the 2015 Golden Medallion Award, the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s highest award as a “trailblazer for women in Sports”. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) awarded Cribbs the 2015 Olympic Torch Award at their Annual Assembly & Board meeting held in Colorado Springs. In November of 2015, Anne received the 2015 Athletes in Excellence Award by the Foundation for Global Sports Development. Most recent honor was bestowed in May, 2016, Anne Warner Cribbs was inducted into the San Francisco Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.

A California native, Cribbs resides in Palo Alto, California.