Is there a better way to start your senior year of college than by becoming an Olympian?

We are only a few weeks away until we see the best athletes on the planet head out to Paris for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.

This year's Olympic games is set to take place from July 26th to August 11th, and the Paralympics will run from August 28th to September 8th

One athlete will be representing Iowa, specifically the University of Northern Iowa at the Paralympics this year.

Her name is Olivia Chambers and she will be making the entire state proud at the end of the summer.

Who Is Olivia Chambers?

The 21-year-old is a Little Rock, Arkansas native and a rising senior at UNI.

Chambers is legally blind due to multiple mitochondrial gene deletion syndrome. She was sixteen when she started to lose her eyesight, according to reports. Also, she has a condition called nystagmus, this causes her eyes to make repetitive, uncontrolled movements.

The Olympian's mother signed her up for swimming lessons when she was three years old, and just a year later she was swimming competitively.

She was named Arkansas Outstanding Distance Swimmer of the Year when she was in high school and went on to swim for the University of Northern Iowa.

Currently, Olivia is majoring in biology at UNI.

In 2022, Chambers actually set a S13-class Para American record in the 400 IM. She had a time of 5:21.68 which was only TWO seconds shorter than the previous record which was set by Paralympic champion Rebecca Meyers in 2012.

Her hard work paid off, as she has qualified for the 2024 Paralympic games.

During the U.S. Paralympic trials last week, Chambers proved just how fierce of a competitor she truly is.

Here are all of the events she ended up placing in:

  • 1st place finish in the S13 400-meter freestyle
  • 1st place finish in SM13 200-meter individual medley
  • 2nd place finish in the SB13 meter freestyle
2024 Team USA Media Summit - Portraits
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Team members were announced on Sunday, June 30th, but the actual event that Chambers and other members of this elite swimming team will compete in this summer will be determined in the near future.

No matter what happens, all of Eastern Iowa will be cheering Olivia on!

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