OMAHA, NE - JULY 2: Jessica Hardy waves after winning the 50m Freestyle during day eight of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials at the CenturyLink Center July 2, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Jessica Hardy is another component of the amazing swimming program at Cal. She will be repping the B+G with Team USA doing 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay. Freestyle is one of her stroke specialities and
Jessica Adele Hardy (born March 12, 1987) is an American international swimmer who specializes in breaststroke and freestyle events. She currently holds the world records in the 50-meter breaststroke (short and long course) and the 100-meter breaststroke (long course). Hardy is a member of the 2012 United States Olympic team and will compete in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle events and the 4x100-meter freestyle relay at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
She has won a total of nineteen medals in major international competition, ten gold, eight silver, and one bronze spanning the World and the Pan Pacific Championships. Hardy's breakthrough performance was at the 2005 World Aquatics Championships, where she won three silver medals and broke Leisel Jones' world record in the 100 m breaststroke. She was named USA Swimming's Breakout Performer of the Year for her performance that year. Most of her international medals have come in breaststroke and relay events.
Check out some videos and more from Ms. Hardy after the jump. GO BEARS!
For Hardy, the 2012 Olympics is an opportunity she dearly treasures. She was going to compete at the 2008 Olympics, but unfortunately had a negative drug sample (it was later ruled that she unknowingly took a tainted supplement):
Family and friends of world record-setting swimmer Jessica Hardy gathered at her mother and stepfather's Long Beach home for a Fourth of July celebration of her making the U.S. Olympic team and the fulfillment of a dream delayed.
As guests dined on appetizers, pizza and salad, no one had to be reminded that a July 4 drug test four years ago led to a doping suspension that prevented Hardy from competing in the 2008 Olympic Games and triggered a chain of events that threatened her career and reputation.
"That irony was very uppermost in our mind," said William Robinson, Hardy's stepfather.
"Jessica," said Denise Robinson, Hardy's mother, "wanted to have a party on the Fourth."
The hosts had wanted a special cake for the occasion, maybe something red, white and blue or with Olympic rings in the frosting, but deferred to Hardy's strict pre-London diet. Besides, celebrating Hardy's triumph was sweet enough.
Hardy, 25, overcame four years of obstacles in courthouses, conference rooms, corporate headquarters, drug labs and swimming pools, emerging with her dream and reputation intact. Two panels ruled her positive drug test was the result of her unknowingly ingesting a tainted supplement.
Hardy spent much of her time talking to the kids about her swimming and Olympic experiences, and, in addition, donated two laptop computers and cameras on behalf of the USOC to the YMCA.
"This is the same kind of community and hometown that nurtured my dreams," she told the kids at the YMCA.
The children in attendance had a number of questions for Hardy. They asked about her diet, her goals for the London 2012 Olympic Games and how long can she hold her breath underwater, among other things.
She ton them she eats a ton of carbs before a meet and sticks to a diet mainly consisting of chicken, fruits and vegetables.
She doesn’t know how many medals she can win at the Games in London — she has to qualify first, at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials June 25-July 2 in Omaha, Neb. — but said she wanted to continue competing at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Good luck to Hardy at London. She is a bright young swimming star, who currently holds several records. I suspect she will have a great Olympics and represent the blue and gold incredibly well. GO BEARS!