Lydia Jacoby Returns To Famous Glasses-Free Swimming World Stage


Lydie Jacoby, the Alaskan teenager who won Olympic gold in Tokyo, returns this week in a major international swimming competition. But she will not wear her famous glasses.

Jacoby, 17, is competing in a major competition – the World Short Course Championships in Abu Dhabi (televised here) – for the first time without the pink Speedo glasses the 2012 Olympian gave him. Jessica hardy meichtry after a swimming clinic in 2017.

“Obviously I love them,” said Jacoby, who said running four years with the same glasses was a long time. “I guess it’s bittersweet, but at the same time I’m kind of ready to switch to a new pair.”

Jacoby doesn’t keep the old glasses at his home in Alaska, and doesn’t bring them with her to the University of Texas next year. Instead, they’ll find a new home at the American Olympic and Paralympic Committee Museum in Colorado Springs.

“They wanted them for persistence,” Jacoby said while in Miami last week for the Golden Goggle Awards, where she won the Breakout Performer and Female Race of the Year awards.

Jacoby visited South Florida for the first time. Average temperatures in his hometown of Seward, Alaska in December are in the range of 20. It was in the 1980s on a crowded South Beach on Golden Goggles Day, more than 5,000 miles away. with us.

Jacoby, in the first of his award speeches, singled out Meichtry. She told a story from April, when she lowered her personal best in the 100 breaststroke by 1.17 seconds and rose to second in the country at a competition in Mission Viejo, Calif., Near the home of Meichtry. Jacoby, his parents and Meichtry had lunch at the meeting.

“[Meichtry] told me she thought I could win gold in Tokyo, ”Jacoby told an American Who’s Who swimming in the ballroom of a five-star hotel. “I was like, pfft, no. It’s crazy.”

Meichtry was at one of the tables, crying. Jacoby had invited Meichtry to be his guest at the Golden Goggles.

Meichtry, who has children ages 2 and 3, gave Jacoby another gift last week: an Olympic rings necklace. Then she shared another story linking the two breaststroke champions from the June Olympic Trials.

“[Jacoby] Texted me the morning of his 100m chest preliminary in Omaha and it was like, hey, this might be the first Olympic trials you haven’t been swimming in since 2004, but your goggles are still swimming, you know ? And she’s like, I hope I make you proud, “said Meichtry, whose last competition was the 2016 Olympic Trials.” And I was crying hysterically when she wrote that. Oh my God, she blew me away.

Jacoby finished second at the 2016 gold medalist Lily king in the 100 breaststroke trials, becoming the first Alaskan to be part of an Olympic swim team. The following month in Tokyo, Jacoby, again in Meichtry’s glasses, overtook King and the South African favorite. Tatjana Schoenmaker in the last 50 meters for gold.

His performance sparked a frenzy at the Dale R. Lindsey Alaska Railroad terminal in Seward.

Four days later, she was back in the pool for the first Olympic mixed swimming relay.

Catastrophe struck when Jacoby plunged into the water. His glasses slipped over his nose. The strap got lodged in his mouth. The eye covers rested on her cheeks, upside down.

Jacoby still separated at 1: 05.09, just 0.06 off her time in the women’s medley relay the following night (and faster than any other breaststroke swimmer in the women’s relay).

“It was really a little embarrassing, and also just awful,” Jacoby said last week. “But I feel like I made it out the best I could.”

Meichtry, watching the show at home, panicked.

“I was probably more worried than [Jacoby] was, ”Meichtry said. “She handled it like a pro. … But I felt so guilty, I texted her and her mom immediately, just saying sorry, you don’t have to wear the glasses. I am very sorry to be the factor responsible at this time. She’s like, no way, it wasn’t your fault.

Jacoby has said she will still wear rose-colored glasses at this week’s short-lived world championships. But these are those of his new sponsor Arena. Jacoby said Meichtry has also helped her navigate the world of name, image and likeness that, at the start of this year, she wouldn’t have imagined being a part of.

“I can’t understand how amazing she is and the continuing relationship and gratitude we have shared together,” Meichtry said. “I just don’t have words to say how much she means to me and how special she is.”

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