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?
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.