By Shoshanna Rutemiller, Swimming World

29-year-old Natalie Coughlin, born August 23, 1982, in Vallejo, California is a seasoned Olympic veteran. However, going into her third Olympics, Coughlin's Olympic role has changed. The most shocking change is that she won't be representing Team USA in any individual events.

"I have just a relay on the first day, and then I'm done and there to support my teammates," Coughlin told reporters after a disappointing trials run in Omaha.

Coughlin opted to add the 100 butterfly to her trials schedule for the first time, after a change in the normal trials events order placed the butterfly before the 100 backstroke. Whether or not this choice affected Coughlin's trials outcome is up for speculation.

After failing to qualify for the Olympics in either the 100 butterfly or the 100 backstroke, Coughlin told reporters:

"I'm not as disappointed as everyone expects me to be. You can't cry over what you can't control."

Due to NBC rights holder restrictions, the following video interview is only viewable until 7/27/2012:


In 1998, at age 15, Coughlin became the first swimmer to qualify for Summer Nationals in all 14 events.

She followed this with an incredible high school career, in which she broke national high school records in the 200 IM (1:58.45) and 100 backstroke (52.86).

Coughlin graduated from UC Berkeley in 2005, after competing in the 2004 Athens Olympics. She is an 11-time Olympic medalist, so far earning three Gold, four silver, and four bronze.

In Beijing 2008, she became the first modern female Olympic athlete to win six medals in one Olympics. Adding to this accomplishment, she was the first woman to win the 100 backstroke in two consecutive Olympics. Not to mentions she was the first woman to swim the 100 meter backstroke in under a minute.

After the 100 butterfly, her first race at trials in Omaha, Coughlin backed up her decision to swim the race by saying, "It's just good to have the opportunity to place yourself on the team in as many events as possible. My goal is to earn my ticket to London this week."

As the week continued on, Coughlin eventually managed to earn her ticket, by placing sixth in the 100 freestyle finals. This placing puts her as a relay alternate in the women's 4x100 freestyle relay.

"First or sixth, it doesn't really matter, I'm really just excited to earn my ticket to London," said Coughlin.

Follow @ShoshyJean on Twitter.

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  • Camille Adams

    EVENT: 200m fly AGE: 20 HOMETOWN: Cypress, Texas OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Alyssa Anderson

    EVENT: 200m freestyle AGE: 21 HOMETOWN: Granite Bay, California OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Elizabeth Beisel

    EVENT: 400m individual medley, 200m backstroke AGE: 19 HOMETOWN: Saunderstown, Rhode Island OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: 2008 Beijing *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Rachel Bootsma

    EVENT: 100m backstroke AGE: 18 HOMETOWN: Eden Prairie, Minnesota OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Natalie Coughlin

    EVENT: 100m freestyle AGE: 29 HOMETOWN: Vallejo, California OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: 2004 Athens (2 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze), 2008 Beijing (1 Gold, 2 Silver, 3 Bronze) *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Allison Schmitt

    EVENT: 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 100m freestyle AGE: 22 HOMETOWN: Canton, Michigan OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: 2008 Beijing (Bronze) *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Missy Franklin

    EVENT: 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle AGE: 17 HOMETOWN: Centennial, Colorado OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Jessica Hardy

    EVENT: 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle AGE: 25 HOMETOWN: Long Beach, California OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Kathleen Hersey

    EVENT: 200m fly AGE: 22 HOMETOWN: Atlanta, Georgia OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: 2008 Beijing *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Ariana Kukors

    EVENT: 200m individual medley AGE: 23 HOMETOWN: Auburn, Washington OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

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    EVENT: 100m breaststroke AGE: 20 HOMETOWN: Mesa, Arizona OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

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    EVENT: 200m breaststroke AGE: 21 HOMETOWN: Las Cruces, New Mexico OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Caitlin Leverenz

    EVENT: 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley AGE: 21 HOMETOWN: Tucson, Arizona OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Claire Donahue

    EVENT: 100m fly AGE: 23 HOMETOWN: Dallas, Texas OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Rebecca Soni

    EVENT: 200m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke AGE: 25 HOMETOWN: Plainsboro, New Jersey OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: 2008 Beijing (1 Gold, 2 Silver) *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Chloe Sutton

    EVENT: 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 10k open water AGE: 20 HOMETOWN: Mission Viejo, California OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: 2008 Beijing *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Katie Ledecky

    EVENT: 800m freestyle AGE: 15 HOMETOWN: Bethesda, Maryland OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.usaswimming.org/" target="_hplink">www.usaswimming.org</a>

  • Shannon Vreeland

    EVENT: 200m freestyle AGE: 20 HOMETOWN: Overland Park, Kansas OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Amanda Weir

    EVENT: 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle AGE: 26 HOMETOWN: Lawrenceville, Georgia OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: 2004 Athens (Silver) *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Lauren Perdue

    EVENT: 200m freestyle AGE: 21 HOMETOWN: Greenville, North Carolina OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.usaswimming.org/" target="_hplink">www.usaswimming.org</a>

  • Dana Vollmer

    EVENT: 100m fly, 200m freestyle AGE: 24 HOMETOWN: Granbury, Texas OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: 2004 Athens (Gold) *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Kate Ziegler

    EVENT: 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle AGE: 24 HOMETOWN: Great Falls, Virginia OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: 2008 Beijing *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/" target="_hplink">www.teamusa.org</a>

  • Haley Anderson

    EVENT: 10K Open Water AGE: 20 HOMETOWN: Granite Bay, California OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE: N/A *All information courtesy <a href="http://www.usaswimming.org/" target="_hplink">www.usaswimming.org</a>