COLUMBUS OH - DECEMBER 03: Martin Liivamagi competes in the Men's 400 yard Individual medley heats on day two of the AT&T Short Course National Championships at McCorkle Aquatic Pavillion on December 3 2010 in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
The dominant swimming bears come from all around the world. Cal swimmer Martin Liivamägi will be representing Estonia this summer in the 2012 London Olympics, but his story started long before. Liivamägi has been tied to the Olympics since birth; he hails from the Estonian capital of Talinn, which hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics Sailing Regatta. Is it any wonder that Liivamägi has shown such affinity for the water? After the jump, let's take a closer look at the LiivaMAGIC!
Estonia started participating in the Olympic games as an independent nation in 1920. They continued after being annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940, and once again sent their own team after re-gaining independence in 1991. (Wikipedia) Liivamägi has met with success both at home and at Cal, as his Cal swimmer's profile shows:
• Is the Cal school record-holder in the 200 (1:43.05) and 400 IM (3:43.55)
• Was the 2010 Pac-10 champion in the 200 IM (1:43.73)
• Placed fifth in the 200 IM and fifth in the 400 IM at the 2011 NCAA championships
• Placed third in the 200 IM at the 2010 NCAA championships
• Has the school's eighth-best time in the 200 breast (1:55.22)
• Was 14th in the 100 IM at the 2009 European Short Course Championships
• Placed 16th in the 200 IM (1:59.95 in prelims) at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome
• Competed for Estonia in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, finishing 34th in the 200 IM (2:03.56)
• At the 2007 World Championships, clocked a 2:02.39 in the semifinals of the 200 IM
• Holds 24 Estonian records in different age groups in different events, and is a 43-time Estonian champion
In addition to the 2008 Olympic games, he also represented Estonia in the 2012 European Swimming Championships:
Check out his official website, practice your Estonian, and find photos and videos!