Born Dec. 14, 1987 Lauren Boyle is a New Zealand swimmer, and a two-time Olympic swimmer. Boyle is particularly a distance specialist, but she’s also one of the world’s best in the 200m freestyle.
Boyle first made international headlines in 2006 when she won a bronze medal as a member of the 800m freestyle relay at the Commonwealth Games. She’s also represented New Zealand at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships.
Boyle travelled to the U.S. for college, choosing to compete for the California Golden Bears. She chose Cal for its unique combination of world-class swimming and world-class academics. The 6’0” Boyle studied Business Administration, and was a huge force in the distance events for the Bears. As a swimmer at Cal Berkeley Boyle was a multi-time NCAA All-American and Honorable Mention All-American. In 2010 she finished second in the 500 freestyle, second on the 800 freestyle relay, third in the 1,650 freestyle and finished 12th in the 200 freestyle to conclude her collegiate season. Throughout her career Boyle left her mark on Cal – she broke the school record in the mile, broke the mile dual-meet record against UCLA in 2008, the Pac-10 meet record in the 800 freestyle relay, and earned Pac-10 Academic honors.
2010 Commonwealth Games
By 2010 Boyle had her second international medal – she won silver on the 800m freestyle relay at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi. She also competed in the 200m freestyle and 400m freestyle.
While still in college Boyle qualified for her first Olympic Games in 2008, and she travelled to Beijing, where she finished eighth in the 400m freestyle, but she came in fourth in the 800m freestyle just missing out on a bronze medal; however she broke the New Zealand record. Since her Olympic Debut, Boyle only seems to have gotten faster. Four years after Beijing she qualified for the 2012 London Olympics, this time narrowly missing the medal podium, finishing fourth in the 400m freestyle.
Boyle kept gaining prominence internationally, especially when she grabbed three medals at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, making her the second New Zealander in history to do so. A year later at the 2014 Commonwealth Games she won gold in the 400m freestyle and silver in the 800m freestyle in addition to her fourth-place finish in the 200m freestyle, breaking the New Zealand record.
After the Olympics Boyle moved on to winning World Championship titles, and broke the New Zealand records in the 400m freestyle and 800m freestyle. Boyle recently broke the Short Course World Record in the 1500m freestyle in 2014, which caused some controversy due to the pool’s condition. The Wellington center has received complains for its shallow diving end and the pool is subject to a current.
2015 World Championships
In the year 2015 Boyle is by far the most elite distance swimmer, next to Katie Ledecky. The New Zealander competed in the distance events in Kazan, both the 800 and 1500-meter freestyles. In the 800-meter freestyle, Boyle was overshadowed by Ledecky’s World-Record smashing swim, but she was breaking records of her own. Boyle broke her own National and Oceanic Record, but since Ledecky finished about 10 seconds ahead, cameras didn’t catch her own record-breaking performance.
In the 1500-meter Boyle broke similar records, where she took four seconds off of her best time to grab another silver medal. When comparing Boyle to the World Record before Ledecky, she is within 3.65 seconds of Rebecca Adlington‘s World Record, which stood for five years. Her time in the 1500 free would have broken Kate Ziegler‘s old World Record by almost 2.5 seconds.