Here / Now With Lia Neal
Here / Now With Lia Neal
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We’d love to welcome Lia Neal, a silver and bronze medal-rocking Olympic swimmer. Lia is a Brooklyn native who pinpointed her love and talent for the sport at an early age. She and her family dedicated themselves to her training and she moved cross-country to swim for Stanford University where she was captain of the Stanford Cardinal National Championship team. As a natural leader, Lia is bringing diversity to the sport. She debuted at the Summer Olympics Games in London in 2012 where she won bronze – she was still in high school and was only the second African-American female swimmer to even make it to the Olympics. She is the first African-American woman to medal at two Olympics (won silver in Rio). Honestly, she makes us question what we’ve done with our lives. But, we can’t help but love her. With a full smile and welcoming personality, she’s fun, intelligent and definitely knows how to accessorize.  Lia’s curiosity for traveling and seeing what the wide world has to offer keeps her in the lead as she constantly pushes herself towards higher goals. She is a testament to the rewards of strict discipline and commitment to your talent to watch it grow – This girl is doing big things!

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  • I was put on this Earth to:
  • Lead by example.

  • My most memorable moment in my swimming career:
  • Swimming my last race at NCAAs and winning a national championship with my teammates last year.

  • How it shaped who I am today:
  • There had been moments where it seemed almost as if no matter what outcome, nothing was worth what I was putting myself through. But it’s unique moments like being a part of the first team in 19 years to win a national championship for Stanford Women’s Swimming that puts it all into perspective. You’re going to have to give a lot of yourself in order to truly appreciate an experience like that wholeheartedly. After having devoted 4 years to college swimming, I’m excited to be on the other side of things and cheer them on as the compete at NCAAs again this March.

  • The biggest challenge as a swimmer:
  • Getting up before the sun and jumping in a pool outdoors >_<

Lia Neal photographed by Jae Eun Seok in New York HERE / NOW WITH MORE AMAZING WOMEN