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Lauren Perdue Looking Forward To London - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Lauren Perdue Looking Forward To London

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UVA rising senior Lauren Perdue will be swimming for the U.S. Olympic team in London in just a few weeks.

The three-time ACC champion will be making her first trip to the Olympics.

Perdue qualified after finishing fourth in the U.S. Olympic team trials in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:57.75.

She was back in Charlottesville Thursday, getting in some training with UVA head coach Mark Bernardino in the Cavaliers pool at the Aquatic and Fitness Center.

Lauren Perdue had back surgery in February, causing her to miss out on the NCAA championships, but got her healthy in time to make her first Olympic team.

Bernardino says, "I don't think the normal athlete would be able to bounce back this quickly, but I think she has an abnormal amount of talent.  She's pretty mentally tough, and she's a phenomenally great competitor.  She's one of those athletes where the greater the pressure, the greater the performance."

"Going into Trials, I was calm, and didn't have any pressure on me to swim well, and I think that worked really well for me," says Perdue.  "I was able to relax, and have fun, and I think ultimately, that's the most important thing in the sport of swimming, is you need to just have fun."

Virginia has had a swimmer compete in the Olympic games every year since 1996, with swimmers on the U.S. team in 1996, 2000, and now 2012.  

Perdue will be joining former teammate and 2011 graduate Matt McLean in London, who made the men's 4-by-200 meter relay.

"My pride is in them," says Bernardino, "and my pride is in the University of Virginia for having the kind of young men and young women who are willing to do the work, and to put forth the effort, and the dedication, and the devotion to sport that it takes to reach the top of this mountain." 

Perdue says, "This is a dream come true for me, and I have been dreaming of this since I was eight years old.  To actually be able to realize this dream of mine is incredible.  I could not be more proud of my country, and UVA.  Representing both of these amazing aspects of my life, I'm so blessed."

Perdue will swim in the 4x200 freestyle relay on August 1st in London.

The Olympics begin July 27th, and can be seen on NBC 29.

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