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London 2012 Golden Bears Olympians: Lauren Boyle, Free Style Swimming, New Zealand

Lauren Boyle will represent New Zealand (and Cal, of course) in 4 freestyle events in London.
Lauren Boyle will represent New Zealand (and Cal, of course) in 4 freestyle events in London.

Today we continue our profiles of Cal Olympians with yet another swimmer (in fact, the Bears will be represented in the pool by 19 swimmers and of course the head coach for the US women, Teri McKeever). Lauren Boyle will be a 2nd time Olympian in London this summer as she swam in the 800 meter relay for her native New Zealand in Beijing. This year, she is shaping up to be the busiest Cal swimmer (men or women) in London this year by participating in 4 events: 200-meter freestyle, 400-meter freestyle, 800-meter freestyle, and 4x200-meter freestyle relay.

The graduate of Haas School of Business ('11) swam for the Bears from 2007-10, with 3 top 3 (All-American) honors in the 2010 NCAA Championships (her senior year when she was a team captain). After qualifying for the Olympics, she was recently named New Zealand swimmer of the year for 2011. The self described "swimmer, baker, gardener, connoisseur of coffee, UC Berkeley grad and Golden Bear for life" (Thanks Twitter) recently won the 800 free in the Santa Clara Grand Prix in early June. So watch out for her in that event.

Videos of Lauren (@1aurenboyle) talking about the Olympics and evidence of her love for Cal after the jump.

Lauren (and her kiwi accent) in her Cal interview prior to the 2008 Olympic appearance:

And her 2012 Cal interview this year after learning that she has qualified for the Olympics back in March (which is remarkably early, compared to the US swim trial in June).

Lauren has repeatedly talk about how Cal (and training with people like Natalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer) prepared her for the Olympics. From her New Zealand swimming article:

Lauren says she was part of a large athletic community at Cal and had lots of opportunities to learn from experienced alumni and other talented past Cal athletes in internships.

In another NZ interview, she credits her Cal experience to rekindle her love for swimming:

"I spent four-and-a-half years at the University of California Berkeley and was part of the NCAA swim team, coached by the USA's head Olympic coach Teri McKeever," Boyle told the Sunday Star-Times.

"Before I went to Cal I was having a really hard time with swimming, I didn't know if I still loved it.

"The decision to go there is what's kept me in the sport."

And from her bio on why she chose to come to Berkeley:

"Cal has a unique way of combining world-class swimming and world-class academics that other schools could not compete with."

From her London Olympics article, Lauren has followed the success of the Cal swimming and diving teams this year online.

An obviously loyal alum, Boyle kept track of both the Cal men's and women's teams online during their respective NCAA Championships.

"The men's NCAAs were on during our New Zealand Olympic trials, so following the results of the Bears was exciting and inspiring," she said. "Back-to-back titles for both teams is truly an amazing feat by the coaches and student-athletes. It makes me so proud to be a Golden Bear."

She is also looking forward to seeing other Cal Bears in London.

"When I see Golden Bears at international swim meets, I feel an overwhelming sense of support. It's almost as if it doesn't matter that you weren't there for the past months. You just slot right back in with the people you have worked so hard with over the years."

Lauren has also posed for some cool looking swimming portraits by Sam Mayhew that are titled "out of the darkness".

While not directly related to Lauren, she was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article about US Universities that "train the enemy". By the way, the percentage of Cal foreign Olympic representatives for 2008 Beijing was 64%.

Nevertheless, I'm sure happy to have Lauren represent Cal in the "Cal"ympics. GO BEARS!