Two aquatically inclined members of the Haas community will be diving into the pool to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London later this month.
Alumna Lauren Boyle, BS 11, and undergraduate Mathias Gydesen, BS 13, will compete in swimming events at this year’s games, representing their home countries of New Zealand and Denmark, respectively.
Boyle, who swam at Cal before graduating, qualified for the 200-, 400-, and 800-meter freestyle races and the 4×200-meter freestyle relay via the State New Zealand Swimming Championships in March in Auckland, where she achieved her personal best and set a national record in the 400 freestyle.
This will be the second Summer Olympics for Boyle, who also competed in Beijing in 2008. She says she is much more nervous about this one because she took a year off to focus entirely on her swimming since graduating in May 2011.
“I wanted to see how good I could get. I wanted to give myself a chance compared to all the professional athletes in the world,” she says. “I’ve put more on the line.”
Boyle’s training is intense, with two hours in the pool in the morning and in the afternoon and one and a half hours of weight or circuit training in between–five days a week.
Of course, when she isn’t swimming, she can’t help but to miss Berkeley. “The main thing I took away from lots of different professors and even my coach is that it’s really your attitude that makes a difference as to what you can achieve,” Boyle says. “On the last day of my class with [Haas Lecturer] Steve Etter in my final semester, he gave us a goodbye speech and the closing quote was, ‘Wake up every day and decide to have a great day.’ That epitomizes the people at Berkeley and how they got there and why they go on to do better and bigger things.”
Gydesen qualified in the Men’s 100-meter backstroke to become part of Denmark’s ten-swimmer roster. This followed a career-best in the event at the Indianapolis Grand Prix in March. Gydesen finished as the NCAA runner-up in the 100-yard butterfly in 2010, earning first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honors, and helped the Bears win the 2012 Pac-12 title in the 200 medley relay (backstroke leg), according to the Cal Athletics website.
“I'm proud of studying at the Haas School of Business and love the environment up there," Gydesen told Cal Athletics. "I consider being surrounded by inspiring people─in the pool and classroom─to be a daily highlight."
Read more about Lauren Boyle in an article on the Cal Athletics website.