Dana Vollmer came close but eventually missed becoming the first American mom in history to win a gold medal in swimming on Sunday, finishing third in the final of the women’s 100-meter butterfly.
While Vollmer still earned a bronze medal, she couldn’t quite keep up with Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström ― who set a world record at 55.48 seconds and beat Vollmer by more than a second. Canada’s Penny Oleksiak finished second, beating Vollmer by 0.17 seconds.
This is Vollmer’s third Olympic tour ― she won three gold medals at the London Olympics in 2012, including one in the 100-meter butterfly ― but her first since giving birth to her 17-month-old son, Arlen. Before giving birth, Vollmer believed she would retire from the Olympics once she was a mom, but decided to make a comeback shortly after Arlen was born. Five months later, she was finishing fourth in the 100-meter fly at the 2015 Phillips 66 National Championships.
Vollmer fully embraced her story as a “Momma On A Mission,” as she puts it, frequently tweeting it as a hashtag and using it as the catchphrase on her website. She has also talked openly about the difficulty of getting back in shape after gaining 50 lbs. during his pregnancy. She is, in short, really awesome.
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