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Rio 2016 Olympic Calympian: Lauren Boyle, Women's Swimming, New Zealand

New Zealand Calympian Lauren Boyle will be making her 3rd Olympic games appearance in Rio 2016. She is a favorite to medal in distance swimming, behind U.S. (and Stanford commit) Katie Ledecky.

Cal alum Lauren Boyle will be making her 3rd Olympic appearance in Rio, representing New Zealand
Cal alum Lauren Boyle will be making her 3rd Olympic appearance in Rio, representing New Zealand
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Lauren Boyle

Sport: Women's Swimming

Country: New Zealand

Twitter: @1aurenboyle ; Instagram: @1aurenboyle

Birthday: December 14th, 1987 (age 28)

Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand

Cal affiliation: Alumni, Haas School of Business ('11)

Years at Cal: 2007-10

Olympic appearances: 2008 Beijing (4x200 free relay), 2012 London (400 Free - finalist 8th place, 800 Free - finalist 4th place), 2016 Rio (400 Free and 800 Free)

My CGB profile of Lauren Boyle from the 2012 London games.

Cal Achievements:

In 2009, Lauren Boyle was a part of the Cal NCAA women's swimming and diving championship winning team (1st one in school history, in fact). While Dana Vollmer was the clear star for the Bears in that meet, Boyel contributed a 11th place finish in the 500 Free.

Building upon that in 2010, Boyle finished second in the 500 Free, second on the 800 Free relay, third in the 1,650 Free and 12th in the 200 Free. She is in the Cal record book for the mile, from a dual meet against UCLA in 2008. She also owns the Pac-10 meet record in the 800 free relay.

Similar to many other international Bears, Boyle was a Calympian even before having success at Cal. Most importantly, however, is much much Lauren has improved over the year to go from just an Olympic participant to a real threat to win medals.

Cal interview from before the 2008 games:

Cal interview from before the 2012 games:

International Achievements:

Particularly since I wrote her profile in 2012, I was particularly bummed when Lauren Boyle just fell short of medalling in 2012 in the 800 Free. She is considered a threat to medal this time, however. In the 2015 World Championships in Kazan last summer, Boyle earned silvers in both the 800 and 1500 Free races. For her performance, she was named New Zealand's Swimmer of the Year.

Boyle has competed at three Commonwealth Games (2006, 2010 and 2014) where she had won relay medals in 2006 and 2010 before a gold medal in the 400 Free and a silver medal in the 800 Free in 2014.

Lauren Boyle also won three medals, a tie for the New Zealand record, at the World Championships in 2013 in Barcelona.

In 2014 Lauren became the first New Zealander to win three medals at a single Pan Pacific Championship. She broke the 1500 Free short course world record last year and was a FINA World 25m Champion in 2012.

More on Lauren:

Clearly Boyle has steadily improved since her time at Cal to become a mainstay in the International swimming scene.

After coming so close to an Olympic medal in the 800 free in London, Boyle has posted the 4th fastest 800 free time in the world when she qualified earlier this year. While American Katie Ledecky will no doubt win the 800 free gold in Rio, Boyle should be competitive for the silver or bronze medals. Boyle will also swim in the 400 free in Rio.

Boyle's qualifying time of 8:25, for which she didn't go all out to provide assistance to the fellow kiwi (and training partner) Emma Robinson, would have been 4th best in the U.S. Swim trial. However, it is important to note that Boyle's time was posted in late March and that time have likely tapered a bit by now.

While Cal fans would be rooting on Lauren in Rio. New Zealanders will be counting on her for the nation's first Olympic swimming medal in 20 years.

Best of luck to Lauren and GO BEARS!