Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Beauty of Sport, Part Two: Swimmer Rebecca Soni

Growing up in New Jersey, Rebecca Soni devoted herself fiercely to being one of the best breaststroke swimmers in women's sports, and the effort has paid off handsomely.

The daughter of ethnic Hungarian immigrants from Romania first gained notoriety at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where she finished a respectable second in the women's 100-meter breaststroke.  But it was in the 200-meter breaststroke where she distinguished herself; she upset the favorite, Australia's Leisel Jones, to win the gold medal and break Jones's world record with a new time of 2:20.22.  This record would be broken by Canadian Annamay Pierse (with a time of 2:20.12) at a semifinal in the World Aquatics Championships in Rome in July 2009.

At the 2012 Olympics in London, though, Rebecca Soni set a  new 200-meter breaststroke world record in a semifinal with a time of 2:20 on August 1. She broke it the next day in the 200-meter breaststroke final.  Another gold medal in a world record time of 2.19:59!  

And as soon as she was finished doing that, she swam on the women's 4x100-meter medley relay team that included Missy Franklin, Dana Vollmer and  Allison Schmitt, which won the gold medal in a new world record relay time of 3:52.05.  Rebecca Soni put in a time of 1:04.82 in her hectometer - a breaststroke, of course - which put her just ahead of the non-relay 100-meter breaststroke world record of 1:04.84 set at the World Aquatics Championships in Rome in July 2009 by . . . Rebecca Soni. :-D 

Don't you love numbers? 

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