Olivia Smoliga

Last updated
Olivia Smoliga
Budapest2017 fina world championships 100backstroke final Olivia Smoliga USA (cropped).jpg
Personal information
National teamUnited States
Born (1994-10-12) October 12, 1994 (age 26)
Glenview, Illinois, U.S.
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight163 lb (74 kg)
Sport
Sport Swimming
Strokes Backstroke, freestyle
Club Cali Condors [1]
Athens Bulldog Swim Club
College team University of Georgia
Medal record
Women's swimming
Representing Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2016 Rio de Janeiro 4×100 m medley
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2020 Tokyo 4×100 m freestyle
World Championships (LC)
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2017 Budapest 4×100 m freestyle
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg2017 Budapest 4×100 m medley
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2019 Gwangju 50 m backstroke
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg2019 Gwangju 4×100 m medley
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg2019 Gwangju 100 m backstroke
World Championships (SC)
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2012 Istanbul 100 m backstroke
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2012 Istanbul 4×100 m freestyle
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2018 Hangzhou 50 m backstroke
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg2018 Hangzhou 100 m backstroke
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg2018 Hangzhou 4×50 m freestyle
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg2018 Hangzhou 4×100 m freestyle
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg2018 Hangzhou 4×50 m medley
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg2018 Hangzhou 4×100 m medley
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg2018 Hangzhou 4×50 m mixed freestyle
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg2018 Hangzhou 4×50 m mixed medley
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 2012 Istanbul 50 m backstroke
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2012 Istanbul 4×100 m medley
Pan American Games
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 2015 Toronto 100 m backstroke
Representing the Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia Athletics logo.svg
Event1st2nd3rd
NCAA Championships 356
Total356
By race
Event1st2nd3rd
50 y freestyle210
100 y freestyle110
100 y backstroke010
4×50 y freestyle004
4×100 y freestyle021
4×100 y medley001
Total356
NCAA Championships
NCAA logo.svg
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2014 Minneapolis 50 y freestyle
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2016 Atlanta 50 y freestyle
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2016 Atlanta 100 y freestyle
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 2016 Atlanta 4x100 y freestyle
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 2017 Indianapolis 50 y freestyle
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 2017 Indianapolis 100 y freestyle
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 2017 Indianapolis 100 y backstroke
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 2017 Indianapolis 4x100 y freestyle
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2014 Minneapolis 4x50 y freestyle
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2014 Minneapolis 4x100 y medley
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2015 Greensboro 4x50 y freestyle
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2015 Greensboro 4x100 y freestyle
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2016 Atlanta 4x50 y freestyle
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2017 Indianapolis 4x50 y freestyle


Olivia Smoliga (born October 12, 1994) is an American competitive swimmer who specializes in backstroke and freestyle events. She won a record eight gold medals at the 2018 World Championships. [2] [3] Smoliga is the current American record-holder in the 50-meter backstroke (short course). She is also the current Guinness World Record holder for "most gold medals won at a single FINA World Championships" by an individual swimmer. [2] At the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, she won a gold medal for swimming the backstroke leg in the preliminary heat of the 4x100-meter medley relay.

Contents

She swims for the Cali Condors as part of the International Swimming League.

Early life and education

Her parents, Tomasz and Elżbieta Smoliga, emigrated from Poland to the United States in 1991. She has a younger brother, Matt, who plays hockey. [4] After graduating from Glenbrook South High School in 2013, Smoliga attended the University of Georgia on athletic scholarship, where she swam for coach Jack Bauerle's Georgia Bulldogs swimming and diving team for four years. [5]

Swimming career

2012: Breakthrough

2012 World Short Course Championships
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 100 m backstroke 56.64
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 4x100 m freestyle 3:31.01
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 50 m backstroke 26.13 (NR)
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 4x100 m medley 3:49.87

At the 2012 United States Olympic Trials, the qualifying meet for the 2012 Olympics, Smoliga missed the Olympic team by finishing fourth in the 100-meter backstroke (1:00.46) and twenty-third in the 50-meter freestyle (25.66). [6] [7] During the semifinals, Smoliga swam a personal best of 59.82 breaking the long course one-minute barrier for the first time. [8]

At the Illinois State High School Championships in November 2012, Smoliga broke the national high school records in both the 100-yard backstroke (51.43) and 50-yard freestyle (21.99). [9]

At the 2012 FINA Short Course World Championships in Istanbul, her first major international competition, Smoliga won a total of four medals: two gold, one silver, and one bronze. In the 100-meter backstroke final, Smoliga surprised the field by winning gold in a time of 56.64 swimming from lane 1. In the last 50-meters, Smoliga had the fastest split in the field with a time of 29.74. [10] Smoliga also earned gold in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay, silver in the 50-meter backstroke (in which she set the American record), and bronze in the 4×100-meter medley relay.

2013-2015: NCAA Championship, Pan American Games

Smoliga has won the 2013-14 NCAA Women's Division I Swimming and Diving Championships with the Georgia Bulldogs, with a gold at the 50yd freestyle, and bronze at the 400yd medley relay. [11]

She was struck with mononucleosis prior to the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships, leading her to bad results in both that championship and the 2015 NCAA tournament. However, being the fifth best time at the 100m backstroke, she retained her spot at the national swimming team, and was qualified for the 2015 Pan American Games. [12] She won the silver at the 100m backstroke with a 1:00.06, her third fastest time ever. [13]

2016: Rio Summer Olympics

At the 2016 United States Olympic Trials, Smoliga qualified for the Olympics by winning the 100m backstroke with a time of 59.02. In doing so, she beat out the previous two Olympic gold medallists in the 100m backstroke, Missy Franklin and Natalie Coughlin. [14]

In Rio, Smoliga finished sixth in the individual 100m backstroke with a time of 58.95, a personal best. [15] Her American teammate Kathleen Baker won a silver medal with a time of 58.75. Smoliga also swam on the prelims relay of the 4 × 100 m medley relay, and won a gold medal when the finals lineup of Baker, Lilly King, Dana Vollmer, and Simone Manuel touched first.

2018 World Championships

2018 World Short Course Championships
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 50 m backstroke 25.88 (NR)
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 100 m backstroke 56.19
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 4x50 m freestyle 1:34.03
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 4x100 m freestyle 3:27.78
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 4x50 m medley 1:42.38 (WR)
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 4x100 m medley 3:45.58 (CR)
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 4x50 m mixed freestyle 1:27.89
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 4x50 m mixed medley 1:36.40 (WR)

At the 2018 World Championships in Hangzhou, China, Smoliga won a record eight gold medals, setting a new Guinness World Record for the "most number of gold medals won at a single FINA World Championships" (short course or long course) by one swimmer, and breaking the former record of seven gold medals held by Michael Phelps and Caeleb Dressel. [2] [3] Smoliga went eight-for-eight at the Championships, winning the gold medal in every event she raced. [16]

2020 Tokyo Olympics

On the 2nd day of the 2020 2020 U.S. Trials, Olivia Smoliga swam the prelim heats of the 100 backstroke touching 4th with a time of 59.24, just enough to secure a lane for the semifinals. [17] During the semifinals, Smoliga won her heat with a 58.50, making her 2nd seed for the final. [18]

On the 3rd day of the Trials, Olivia Smoliga scratched out of the 200 freestyle to focus on the 100 Backstroke final. During the final, Smoliga turned up just short of her 2nd Olympic berth, falling 12 hundredths behind Rhyan White. [18]

On the sixth day of trials, Olivia posted a time of 53.63 in the 100 freestyle final to earn a spot on the Olympic team as a member of the 4x100 freestyle relay team. [19] [20]

At the Olympic Games, Olivia swam the lead-off leg during the prelims of the 4x100 Freestyle Relay, Splitting a 54.06. She was not chosen to swim in the finals.

International Swimming League

In 2019 Olivia was a member of the inaugural International Swimming League representing the Cali Condors, who finished third place in the final match in Las Vegas, Nevada in December. She was a top 10 point scorer for the season winning many events including the 50 back in the final. [21]

Guinness world records

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References

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  2. 1 2 3 4 "Most gold medals won at a single FINA World Championships (individual)". Guinness World Records . December 16, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  3. 1 2 Narang, Bob (December 29, 2018). "Glenview's Olivia Smoliga sets record with 8 gold medals at FINA world championships". Chicago Tribune . Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  4. "Glenview Patch". Patch Network. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
  5. Tribune/WGN-Ch. 9 2012-13 Athlete of the Year | Glenbrook South's Olivia Smoliga
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  7. "2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials (swimming) – Women's 50 metre freestyle (heats)". Omega Timing. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
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  10. "U.S. Wins More Swimming Gold Medals". New York Times. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  11. Olivia Smoliga Archived 2015-07-21 at the Wayback Machine , Georgia Dogs
  12. "With confidence waning, Olivia Smoliga looks to Pan Am Games for boost". Chicago Tribune. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  13. "Glenview swimmer Smoliga gets Pan Am Games silver". Chicago Tribune. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  14. D'Addona, Dan (28 June 2016). "Glenbrook South grad Olivia Smoliga wins 100 back at Olympic trials". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  15. "Bulldog Olivia Smoliga finishes sixth in 100 Backstroke" . Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  16. Zaccardi, Nick (December 16, 2018). "Caeleb Dressel finishes with nine medals, six gold; U.S. dominates short course worlds". NBC Sports . Retrieved September 23, 2021.
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  18. 1 2 "2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Wave II: Women's 100m Backstroke Semifinals Results Summary". Omega Timing . June 14, 2021. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
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