FOUR-TIME OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST  •  THREE-TIME OLYMPIAN (2004, 2008, 2012)  •  2011 WORLD CHAMPION (800 FREE RELAY)  •  9-TIME NCAA INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION  •  FIRST WOMAN IN HISTORY TO SWEEP 50, 100, 200 NCAA TITLES  •  NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL RECORD HOLDER – 50 FREE
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Kara Lynn Joyce

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Personal Info

Born On:  October 25, 1985
Hometown:  Brooklyn, NY
Resides:  Charlotte, NC
Education:  University of Georgia '07; Major in Speech Communications
Height:  6'0"

Biography

In the four years since making the 2008 Olympic Team, Kara Lynn Joyce has swum for many different teams, and served different roles within those teams. But success has been consistent through all of her moves.

Kara Lynn lives swimming. She’s been in the eyeballs of swim fans at the elite end of the sport for a decade, starting as one of the most prolific high school swimmers in history, and then moving on to win 9 individual NCAA Titles, make three Olympic Teams, and win four Olympic Silver medals.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s all come easy to her.  

She began her journey to the London Olympics training as a post-graduate at the University of Georgia. She then tried training with the professional group in Fullerton, California. The next stop on her journey was as a teammate and mentor for swimming’s next superstar in Denver: Missy Franklin. Finally, the last move came just three months before the Olympic Trials when she went back east to train with SwimMAC Carolina.

But it was the last of these decisions that was the most difficult for her. Though she wasn’t in the Mile High City for long, she developed strong relationships. She had become the primary training partner for the incredible high schooler Franklin. The Colorado Stars had accepted her into a very unique situation, training their first professional athlete, and had made her a part of their family.

But the situation was not what Joyce needed for her swimming. She is a fast-twitch sprinter, and she needed to go somewhere that she could focus on nothing but continuing to develop her speed. In early April, at about the last opportunity she had to make the change, she went to work with her old college coach Peter Verhoef in Charlotte.

There were questions about the late change; there were questions about giving up one of the world’s best talents as a training partner; there were questions about if there was enough time for her to get back on top. But when she came to the Olympic Trials in Omaha, she emphatically declared that she had made precisely the right move.

She did just enough to get through the prelims and the semi-finals at the US Olympic Team Trials. Poetically, she waited until the last moment, in the final round to come from an outside lane to post a 24.73. That moved her into the world’s top-12 and put her onto a third Olympic Team.

Joyce would go on to finish tied for 16th at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and most importantly as a veteran and a consummate professional, she continued in her important mentoring role for the very young American team. With a team that included four high school students in the high-pressure Olympic spotlight, Joyce’s ability to conquer change and adversity was invaluable.