Lebanon has not won an Olympic medal since 1980. But Lebanese-American swimmer Katya Bachrouche hopes to change that at this year’s London Games in July, where, as a dual citizen, she plans to compete for her ancestral homeland. Katya has been swimming since she was a child, won All-American honors in high school, and helped lead the University of Virginia to four conference titles in her college career.
She also electrified the Pan-Arab Games in Doha last December by winning four gold medals and two bronzes. Her times were good enough to qualify for the London Games, but her times from Doha have not been ratified, and she could miss the London Games because of a technicality. The International Swimming Federation says her times are good enough, but she will have to wait to see if they hold up. We caught up with the swimmer during a training session at the University of Virginia. There, she told us that her times are good enough, and that her dream is to compete for Lebanon in London.
David Byrd is a journalist, writer, video editor and photographer. He is also the host of VOA's American Cafe, a weekly show covering life and culture in the United States.