Kathleen Baker had to beat incredible odds to get to the 2016 Olympics, but despite her hard-fought battle with Crohn’s Disease, she accomplished what she’s been working most of her life for — and she’s already won a silver medal at the Games! Get to know the inspiring swimmer here.
1. She’s a college athlete
Kathleen Baker, 19, swims for the University of California, Berkeley, where she specializes in backstroke and freestyle. At the 2016 NCAA competition for swimming, she placed 2nd in the 200y Individual Medley. Keep up with the Olympics by watching live coverage here!
2. Crohn’s Disease has severely impacted her swimming career
Battling this chronic disease has definitely taken a toll on Kathleen: Rather than being able to swim in as many different events as she originally wanted to, she’s had to limit herself to one Olympics speciality, which is the 100m backstroke. Her hard work paid off, though, and she won a silver medal in the event on Aug. 8.
3. Her practice schedule is different from most Olympic athletes
Because of her Crohn’s, Kathleen has had to totally alter her practice schedule, which meant giving up two-a-days. Clearly, having less practice time isn’t beneficial when you’re up against athletes who literally dedicate their life to their sport, but Kathleen persevered!
4. She has big plans for the future
Kathleen is set to graduate from the University of California in 2019, and with her public health major, she hopes to work in the medical field one day.
5. She was homeschooled
Kathleen didn’t attend a regular high school, and was instead taught at home to focus on swimming and fighting her disease. Looks like it all paid off!
HollywoodLifers, did you expect Katie to win the silver medal?! What do you think of her story?