2012 Olympic Gold medalist (800 free relay)
2012 CC Champion
2011 NCAA Silver medalist
For Lauren Perdue, swimming is a family tradition. Her mother, father and older sister Meredith all swam collegiately, and dad missed qualifying for the Olympics by half a second. Lauren had a family who understands the hard work and dedication that elite-level swimming requires.
But before Lauren would become an Olympian, she grew up on the eastern shore of North Carolina playing sports like soccer, volleyball, and softball and spending time surfing, wake boarding, and enjoying the beach. Her first taste of the Olympics came when she was a mere 15 year old and raced in the 2008 Beijing Olympic trials, but her time had not yet come.
Lauren chose to attend the University of Virginia for her collegiate training, following in her father and sister’s footsteps. During her first three years at UVA, Lauren was an eight-time All-American and ACC Swimmer of the Year for 2010 and 2011 but was plagued with injuries for her 2012 season. Just two months before the 2012 London Olympic Trials, Lauren made the decision to have back surgery, which many thought meant the end of her Olympic dreams. With friends and family urging her not to go to the Trials, Lauren decided to go anyway and give it a try and if nothing else, support her teammates. Lauren approached her race as relaxed as she could, knowing she had nothing to lose and shocked herself when she swam a lifetime best and qualified for the Olympic 4×200 free relay!
After the trials, training with the Olympic team began and the dream became real for Lauren: she was going to the Olympics! From the United States swim camp in Knoxville to the training camp in France, Lauren bonded with this extremely talented, close team. Her 4×200 free relay would win gold, giving Lauren an even more special experience in London.
Since the close of the Olympics, Lauren looks forward to continuing her career after graduation and encourages all young swimmers to remember that obstacles you may face in your career are merely stepping stones to make you a stronger person.