Olympic and World Champion Olivia Smoliga had a record breaking Short Course World Championships last month in China, bringing home eight gold medals. Although six of her gold medals came from swimming on Team USA relays, the backstroke star did sweep the sprints, winning the 50scm and the 100scm.
A dramatic point in the eight-medal haul was Olivia’s lead off on the 4×50 mixed medley relay in finals, pitting her against six of the world’s best men. Olivia felt the wake of the men on the turn, stayed focused, and delivered for Team USA. Short Course Worlds was clearly a big, breakout moment for Olivia, a massive boost to her confidence heading into the 2019 Long Course World Championship in Korea.
QUESTION: How will Olivia perform at LC World Championships this summer? Women’s 100m backstroke, especially on Team USA, is tough. World record holder Kathleen Baker is out of college focused on going sub 58. For Olivia, sitting on a 58.75 PB, I think anything under 58.3-4 is a solid step up for her. What do you think?
This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.