LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Rebecca Soni of the United States celebrates after winning gold and setting a new world record time of 2:19.59 in the Women's 200m Breaststroke Final on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Join us as we meet and follow BP Team USA, a group of nine U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls that are aiming to bring home gold from London this summer. Today we meet swimmer Rebecca Soni.
As the 2012 Summer Olympics continue in London, so too does our series of profiles of the athletes of BP Team USA, a collection of nine Olympians and Paralympians who have partnered with BP, which is "committed to providing opportunities, support and critical funding to help fuel these outstanding athletes at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond." On Monday, we meet swimmer Rebecca Soni.
London was the second Summer Games for Soni, and she made the most of it, coming home with three medals -- two golds and a silver. She'll add those pieces of hardware to her haul from Beijing, where she won a gold and two silver medals.
Soni, the current world-record holder in the 200-meter breaststroke, was born and raised in New Jersey by her Hungarian parents. She began swimming when she was 10 years old and quickly discovered she was a natural in the water. After graduating from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North in 2005, she headed west to pursue swimming at USC.
As a member of the Trojans swim team, Soni was a six-time NCAA Champion, winning the 200-yard breaststroke in 2006-09, and the 100-yard breast in 2008 and 2009. Soni, who currently swims for the Trojan Swim Club in Los Angeles with coach Dave Salo, was the first woman to win four straight NCAA titles in the 100m breaststroke.
Soni exploded onto the international scene at the 2008 Olympics, winning gold in the 200m breast -- beating the heavily-favored Leisel Jones in the process -- and taking silver in the 100m breast. For her efforts, she was named the USA Swimming Female Athlete of the Year in both 2009 and 2010, and then in 2011, she won Swimming World's World Swimmer of the Year title.
Her success continued in London, helping lead Team USA to a staggering 30 medals, with gold in 200m breast, silver in 100m breast and a team gold in the 4x100m medley relay, in which she swam -- what else? -- breaststroke.
For more on Rebecca Soni, including video of her telling her story, visit the official site of BP Team USA.