Shock As 17-Year-Old Swimmer Wins Gold Medal In Tokyo Olympics

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 27 Jul 2021 07:36
Shock As 17-Year-Old Swimmer Wins Gold Medal In Tokyo OlympicsPA Images

17-year-old Lydia Jacoby has taken home gold in the women’s 100-metre breaststroke.

Jacoby is the first Olympic swimmer to come from Alaska, and is now the first Alaskan-born swimmer to bag a gold medal.


Adding to her list of achievements, she’s also the first American woman to secure gold in swimming at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The teenager beat South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker by just .27 seconds, finishing the winning lap in 1:04.95.

Lydia Jacoby (PA)PA

Jacoby was shocked by her first-place win, saying that while she was wanting a medal, she didn’t expect to win gold.


Speaking after the race, as per The Independent, ‘I was definitely racing for a medal. I wasn’t really expecting a gold medal so when I looked up at the scoreboard, it was insane.’

Not only was the swim Jacoby’s Olympic debut, but it was also the first international event she had taken part in. Despite this, the teenager has had an interest in swimming from a young age, and has been doing the sport since the age of six.

She later started competing for the Seward Tsunami Swim Club, and took home her first state record at the age of just 12, SportingNews reports.

Lydia Jacoby (PA)PA

Two years later, Jacoby went on to win two high school state championships in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke. The teenager then went on to qualify for Olympic Trials by hitting the standard at the USA Swimming Winter Nationals swim meet.

In the wake of her swimming success, people have taken to social media to congratulate the 17-year-old. One person wrote, ‘Let’s go!!! Congratulations Lydia, all of Alaska is going absolutely insane.’

Someone else said, ‘That was Brilliant!!! I cried with Joy for her!! Very Exciting!!! Way to go!!!’

A third person wrote, ‘Alaska now has its first gold medalist in swimming. That was cool to watch. Congrats Lydia Jacoby!’


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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Olympics, Sport, Swimming, Tokyo 2020, US News


Independent and 1 other
  1. Independent

    Lydia Jacoby: Video shows schoolmates going wild as 17-year-old US swimming prodigy wins surprise gold

  2. SportingNews

    Meet Lydia Jacoby, the 17-year-old who became first Alaskan to win Olympic gold in swimming