Silver lives up to name at Olympics
August 12, 2008 · Updated 3:22 PM
t 2004 BHS grad comes away with a silver medal at Beijing Olympics.
After nearly having her dream taken away several times, Emily Silver now has a piece of silver that she’ll never let go.
The 22-year-old earned a silver medal in the women’s 4x100 freestyle relay Sunday morning at the XXIX Olympics at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing, China.
Silver, a multiple-time state champion for Bainbridge High School and a NCAA champion with the University of California-Berkeley, helped the United States team take the third seed in the preliminary swim Saturday afternoon. She, along with Kara Lynn Joyce, Julia Smit and Lacey Nymeyer, won their heat with a time of 3:37.53, just .08 of a second ahead of the quartet from the Netherlands.
Silver swam the third leg of the race in 54.81, just off her personal best time of 54.7.
She kept the team in the top three, allowing Nymeyer to overtake the Netherlands’ Manon van Rooijen for first.
In the finals, the team of Natalie Coughlin, Nymeyer, Joyce and Dara Torres were in the top three for the entire race, but couldn’t overcome the Netherlands despite a strong push by Torres at the end.
The U.S. team set a new American record with their time of 3:34.33.
Silver had to race in a personal time trial last Thursday to prove to U.S. coaches that she was fully healthy after breaking her hand at the Olympic trials in July.
She went 100 meters in 54.8, faster than her time of 54.91 that got her on the team.
“Up until that moment just now I had a big weight on my shoulder,” Silver told the New York Times after her race. “(But) I knew I could do it. I believed in myself even though a lot of other people were unsure.”
Her parents were sure she could come through and were overjoyed to say the least.
“M(ary) S(ue) and I couldn’t have been more proud of Emily and all that she accomplished in the past two months,” Emily’s dad Bob wrote on his blog, frombainbridgetobeijing.com. “It’s truly hard to put into words or to put into perspective.”