Smoliga Always Wanted To Be Pro: GMM presented by

Gold Medal Minute presented by

2016 Olympic champion Olivia Smoliga has been a stalwart star since she broke the 50 yard free and 100 yard backstroke high school national records in 2012.  With college officially over, Olivia has launched her pro career, though  she got off to a slow start.  She was too sick to compete at the Mesa Pro Swim. She debuted her pro career a few weeks later at the Atlanta Pro Swim, winning her first pro dollars, $100 to be exact (3rd in 50m free, 25.2).

In Atlanta, Olivia’s times were a little off, but she felt they were within the same range as last year, especially since she was coming off of her recent illness.

Pro careers, even for Olympic champions, doesn’t mean money will start falling from the sky.  Athletes have to find representation, meet with companies and start the long process of signing partnerships. It takes time.  For now Olivia’s sticking close to her Georgia Bulldogs, focusing on U.S. World Trials.

Olivia won 100m backstroke at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials (59.02), and her 50m free is within striking distance of being dangerous (PB 24.7). What will it take for her to medal individually this summer at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest?

You can follow Olivia Smoliga on Twitter here.

Follow Olivia Smoliga on Instagram here. 

See Olivia Smoliga on Facebook here.


This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of, a Swimming News website.

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Good luck to her!


Bubbly personality, great competitor and great human interest story plus GREAT athlete should yield a successful pro career!


All the best to you Ms. Olivia! Powodzenia!


Does she have Polish roots? I always thought that Smoliga is a Slavic last name (Russian or Ukrainian)


She has super polish roots she’s talked about it in videos many times

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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