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Dreams and Goals: Leah Smith Reflects on Her Journey to Olympic Gold

Published February 9, 2017 in News

By: Tom Fenstermaker | University Communications

Fourth-year student Leah Smith will conclude her collegiate career as one of the most-accomplished student-athletes in University of Virginia history. She has won four NCAA individual swimming titles – the most by any Cavalier student-athlete – and is a 10-time Atlantic Coast Conference champion and most recently, a double individual world champion at the 2016 FINA Short Course World Championships.

Olympic champion swimmer Leah Smith learned how to set goals, both big and small, at an early age.One dream Smith has had since she was a young girl was to become an Olympian, and last summer in Rio de Janeiro she achieved her dream. She became an Olympic gold medalist with the U.S. women’s 4x200-meter freestyle and also earned individual bronze in the 400-meter freestyle.

Just before she was honored at Sunday’s home women’s basketball game against Duke as part of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Virginia Athletics caught up with Smith to talk about her goals and dreams and what advice she would have for young girls getting into sports.

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