Franklin & Marshall College swimmer Becca Meyers is striving for gold in at least three events when she competes next month at the Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The junior history major won four events at July's U.S. Paralympic Trials in North Carolina to qualify for her second Summer Paralympic Games. Born deaf, Meyers is diagnosed with Usher syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes gradual balance and vision loss. She won the 2015 ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete with a Disability.
A Baltimore-area native, Meyers was named to the NCAA Division III All-America team this spring for finishing sixth in the 1,650-yard freestyle. Earlier this year, at the Centennial Conference Championships in February, she took top honors in the event, winning by more than 13 seconds with a season-best time of 16:43.06, which broke the pool, meet and conference records.
At the U.S. Trials, she touched the wall first in the women's 400-meter freestyle with a 4:27.87 time, nearly 30 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Meyers also secured gold in the women's 100 butterfly (1:07.02), 200 individual medley (IM) (2:29.50), and 100 freestyle (1:01.55).
During the 2012 summer Paralympic Games in London, Meyers took silver in the 200 IM, bronze in the 100 freestyle, and fifth place in the 50 freestyle. This year, she will be in Rio's Olympic Aquatic Stadium in search of her first Paralympic gold medals in those events plus the 400 freestyle and 100 butterfly. She is one of only 10 athletes to represent the United States on the National A Team in Rio.
The Paralympic Games, which began 1960 in Rome, open Sept. 7 through Sept. 18.
At the U.S. Trials, Meyers earned victories in four events and added a second and third-place showing in the six competitions in which she participated.
At the 2014 Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships, Meyers set two world records, in the 400 freestyle and the 200 IM. She earned a total of six medals - four gold and two silver. In July 2015, at the International Paralympic World Championships in Scotland, Meyers broke her record in the 200 IM.
"It’s been a roller coaster the past couple of years and I’m still on it," Meyers told the Baltimore Sun at the time.