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Chatting with Lydia Jacoby: Two-time Olympic medalist and Alaskan swimmer

Two-time Olympic medalist and American swimmer Lydia Jacoby chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos about her journey in the sport of swimming.

Lydia Jacoby
Lydia Jacoby. Photo Credit: Mike Lewis, USA Swimming
Lydia Jacoby. Photo Credit: Mike Lewis, USA Swimming

Two-time Olympic medalist and American swimmer Lydia Jacoby chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos about her journey in the sport of swimming.

A 17-year-old athlete, Jacoby hails from Anchorage, Alaska.

Tokyo Olympic Games

At the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, she won a gold medal in the women’s 100 meter breaststroke race, as well as a silver medal in the women’s 4×100 meter medley relay race. “That was really exciting, I honestly don’t know how to describe it,” she said. “It was a lot of emotions and super exciting.”

2021 Golden Goggle nominations

Jacoby also garnered three 2021 Golden Goggle nominations, which included a nod in the coveted “Female Athlete of the Year” category. “It has been really cool to be nominated,” she said. “I grew up watching the Golden Goggles so it has been fun. I remember seeing Regan Smith nominated and winning a few awards back in 2019. It is so rewarding for me to be in that same position now.”

On her daily motivations, she said, “Personally, I have always been motivated by the opportunities that I get from the sport such as traveling to different places and meeting people from different places.”

Jacoby acknowledged that she has a great deal of respect for five-time Olympic medalist swimmer Lilly King. “Lilly has been at the top of our event so I have always watched her and I have looked up to her for sure,” she said.

She also had great words about fellow American swimmer Michael Andrew. “Michael is great, he was definitely somebody that brought the men’s and the women’s teams together so he is really fun,” she exclaimed.

For young and aspiring swimmers, she said, “The most important thing is to really make sure that you are having fun with it since if you are not doing something that you enjoy, then it’s not worth doing. This is something that swimmers on any level can think about.”

Career-defining moments

When asked about her career-defining moments, she remarked, “April of 2021 was the first time I swam in a pool with all members of the national team, and placing in the Top 2 in that meet really changed my mindset on whether or not I could make the Olympic team.”

“When I made the Top 2, I realized that I had a good chance of making the team, just like anybody else did,” she added.

Jacoby listed the “breaststroke” as her personal favorite stroke in swimming.

Success

Regarding her definition of success, she said, “It’s not about meeting one goal in one aspect of your life, it is about being well-rounded and fulfilling lots of different areas of your life that you feel are important to you.”For her dedicated fans, she expressed her gratitude.

Fans

For her fans and supporters, she said, “All of Alaska has been with me for a long time so it has been really neat to see how they really rallied behind me, especially during the Olympics. Also, post-Olympics, having this new huge base of supporters has been amazing.”

To learn more about two-time Olympic medalist swimmer Lydia Jacoby, follow her on Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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