Lia Neal is only 2nd Black woman in history to earn place on USA Olympic Swim Team. Lia, who is also half Chinese, comes after the first Black woman to make the U.S. Olympic swim team, Maritza Correia, who was a silver medalist in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay in 2004.
“I definitely knew about Maritza Correia being the first one,” Neal said. “I never thought about me being the second one going into the race, but I guess that’s really a cool title to have.”Neal, who lives in Brooklyn, started taking swimming lessons with friends when she was 6. She showed promise, and a swim mom recommended when she was 8 that she try out for a swim team. She’s been training ever since with Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
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