Born in Freehold Borough, New Jersey, Rebecca Soni (Reb), grew up on the balance beam and bars. Gymnastics, Reb's sport of choice, took a back seat when she joined her older sister's (Rita) swimming club because it was a better than having to wait for her sister to finish class. So at age 10, Rebecca dived with no idea she would make a splash in the Olympic world.
2008 was Rebecca's year. She won the Gold Medal and set a World Record in the 200m breaststroke at the Beijing Olympic Games, defeating the Australian favorite, Leisel Jones. She also brought home two Silver Medals in the 100m breaststroke and the 4x100m medley relay.
Ending collegiate career by USC in 2009, she swept both breaststroke events and broke another record. The 6-time NCAA Champion continued to win multiple events and set more records.
As Rebecca trains towards the 2012 London Olympic Games, she sets her eyes on the Gold in the 100m, 200m breaststroke and the Medley Relay.
From nutrition and training, to family and friends, Rebecca set aside time to share her story and what it's like to be an Olympian.
How did you get involved with swimming?I started swimming when I was 10 years old because my older sister was a swimmer and she loved it. My parents put us both in the same sport. In the beginning, I didn't even place in the top 40 at my first nationals, but that only fueled my passion to get better.
Did you ever think you would be an Olympic Swimmer when you were a child?
No, it always seemed out of reach and I never thought I'd make it this far. I wasn't the best when I started, but I kept at it and eventually I improved.
What was it about swimming that you loved?
I love the training and coming out of a good workout feeling accomplished.
What was it like when you won your Gold medal (and set the world record) in the Beijing Olympic Games?
I was so ecstatic I couldn't even believe it, I felt like I was on top of the world in my sport.