Seventeen year old Olympian, Lia Neal is beating the odds: she is the 2nd African-American female to qualify for the US Olympic Swim Team.
The ability to swim in itself is no short of a small feat for the New York City native, where 70 percent of African-American kids do not know how to swim. Lia has wowed the nation, having earned 3 gold medals as part of the 400m relay, an individual silver medal in the 100m free, and a bronze in the 50m at the 2010 Junior Pan Pacific Championships. She then went on to win gold in the 100m free and silver in the 50m free at the 2011 Wold Junior Championship.
Most recently, Lia and her teammates won the bronze medal in the women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay on July 28th at the London Olympic Games with a time of 3 minutes and 34.24 seconds behind Australia and the Netherlands.
Neal also received a little added bonus at the games. She was told that First Lady Michelle Obama went from watching Serena Williams’ tennis match to the pool to watch her swim. She giggled and said, “She was here? That’s so amazing. I wish I could have seen her.”
Congrats Lia. #TeamUSA!