Rebecca Soni is a swimmer competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

Rebecca Soni qualified for her second Olympics by winning the 200m breaststroke and placing second in the 100m breaststroke at Olympic Trials. She admitted to being nervous before the 100m race, her first event at Trials, and she was beaten by previously unknown swimmer Breeja Larson. Still, Soni enters London as a favorite to win both.

Rebecca Soni has become the world's top breaststroker since the 2008 Olympics, where she won the 200m and took second in the 100m. Soni started her post-Beijing run at the 2009 World Championships and won 100m breaststroke gold and 50m breaststroke silver there. Soni continued her rise to the top in 2010 by taking the 100m and 200m breaststroke at the Pan-Pacs ... and then swept all three breaststroke events at the Short-Course Worlds. She currently holds the short-course world records in the 100m and 200m breaststroke.

Soni asserted herself as the planet's top breaststroker at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, where she won both the 100m and 200m breaststroke. She placed third in the 50m breast but was part of the winning 400m medley relay team.

Rebecca Soni pulled off one of the more memorable performances of the Beijing Olympics with her stunning victory in the 200m breaststroke. She pulled away from Australia's Leisel Jones in the final meters and took away Jones' world record in the process. Soni lowered the mark to 2:20.22, more than 2 seconds faster than what she swam to win the U.S. Trials. Soni also was a surprising silver medalist behind Jones in the 100m breast, an event she was only added to after Jessica Hardy tested positive for a banned substance.

Soni said she can't swim the other three swimming disciplines very well. "I still can't figure out how to swim the other strokes," she says. "From my understanding, and since I don't swim the other strokes that often, it might not be very true, is that breaststroke is more of a graceful stroke as opposed to the forcefulness of fly, back and free."

Soni made her Olympic debut in Beijing, after finishing her junior year of college at USC. Soni won the 200m breaststroke at Olympic Trials, finishing ahead of 2004 Olympic gold medalist Amanda Beard. Soni lives in Los Angeles with other USC swimmers and has been training with an elite group of breaststrokers including 100m breast qualifier Jessica Hardy. Beard also trained at USC until two months before the Trials, and Beard credited Soni with motivating her to race after the two qualified for Beijing.

Soni earned a berth in the 100m breast, where she finished fourth at Trials, when winner Hardy withdrew from the team after testing positive for a banned substance. With the deadline passed to add swimmers to the team, the berth in the 100m breast fell to the swimmer already on the team with the fastest time in the event since Jan. 1, 2006, which was Soni.

Soni became the second woman, after Stanford's Tara Kirk, to win three straight NCAA titles in the 200y breast ('06, '07, '08) and capped off an undefeated junior season with the most recent win in March. She also won the 100y breast for the first time, earning All-American honors.

Soni's breakout came at the 2007 Duel in the Pool, which was her best event since she underwent surgery in 2006 to fix an irregular heartbeat. Soni says the procedure was a "minor thing" that doesn't bother her, but it limited her training during recovery. At the Duel, she won a silver in the 200m breaststroke and a bronze in the 100m breaststroke.

Soni swept the breaststroke events at the 2007 summer Nationals, winning the 200m breast by more than two seconds. She won her first national title at the 2005 summer Nationals, after her senior year at West Windsor High School in New Jersey, taking gold in the 200m breast.

Soni's parents, Peter and Kinga, were both born in Hungary and came to the U.S. before her older sister, Rita, was born. Soni speaks Hungarian and has traveled there to visit family. Her parents live in Arizona.


How tall is she? How old is she? Where does she live? Find out here.

Age: 30 years old
Birthday: March 18, 1987
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 134 lbs.
Birthplace: Freehold, NJ
Hometown: Plainsboro, NJ
Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA

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