Lydia Jacoby just took home Gold for Team USA in the 100m breast swimming competition. Her win was a major upset over USA favorite Lilly King and close rival Tony Schumacher from South Africa. Jacoby surged at the final stretch blowing away the announcers and shocking the crowd watching from home in America. It is impossible not to be emotional watching her family and friends leap to their feet as she takes the shocking lead and touches the wall for USA gold.
Why was her victory so special? Jacoby hails from the state of Alaska where swimming isn’t exactly the state’s most popular activity (it’s cold up there, apparently). The 17 year old spent her relatively new career training in a 25 m pool since there is only one 50 m pool in the entire state of Alaska.
In fact, Jacoby is the first ever Olympic swimmer from the state of Alaska. Not yet a senior in high school, Jacoby has grown up in the water. Her parents are both boat captains who operate whale and other water tours. She was put on swim teams since the age of 6 because her parents wanted to be sure she was safe in the water as she grew up to help them with sailing and boating.
But she was a natural. She broke her first state record at age 12 and when she went to compete for her spot on Team USA she didn’t even expect to make it on the team let alone end up with a Gold medal.
Plus, it’s pretty cute to watch her adoring parents sing the national anthem (as real patriots would) as they watched their daughter receive the Gold medal for the USA.