Local Teen Swimmer Heading to the Olympics!

Congratulations to Flatbush native Lia Neal, a 17-year-old swimmer who made the U.S. Olympic team over the weekend. She’s also making headlines for more than her 100-meter freestyle win–she’s just become the second African-American woman (her father is African-American and her mother is Chinese-American) to make a U.S. Olympic swim team.

Though some 70% of African-American children reportedly do not know how to swim, Lia thinks it’s growing in popularity in the city. Not that there are many pools out here where she can practice–she has to hike all the way to the Upper East Side for her training.

“Actually, not many people know about Asphalt Green,” she told the Washington Post. “It’s one of the most beautiful pools in New York City. I think swimming is becoming a bigger and bigger thing in the city.”

Above is video from May’s 2012 Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix, where Lia beat Jessica Hardy by .01 seconds (Hardy won this weekend’s qualifying race).

Congrats Lia, we’ll be rooting for you in the 400m relay!!