SoFla High School Senior Is London Olympic Hopeful

Driscoll has already traveled to places like Stockholm, Berlin, Barcelona and Maui to race

By Chris Clark
|  Thursday, May 17, 2012  |  Updated 4:38 PM EDT
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A 2012 London Olympics swimming hopeful is from South Florida and she?s just 18 years old. Lauren Driscoll talks about the excitement of the sport.

A 2012 London Olympics swimming hopeful is from South Florida and she?s just 18 years old. Lauren Driscoll talks about the excitement of the sport.

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A 2012 London Olympics swimming hopeful is from South Florida and she’s just 18 years old.

Lauren Driscoll, who swims about 70,000 meters a week for Swim Fort Lauderdale at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, has already traveled to places like Stockholm, Berlin, Barcelona and Maui for the sport.

"I’ve been out of the country for swimming,” she said. “I've gone to national-level meets. I hold some records. Just all of that, I think it's so exciting."

Driscoll, who was named Broward County's Swimmer of the Year, is one of the country's best distance swimmers and fastest rising stars.

The American Heritage High School senior will be attending Berkeley next year for one of the country's top college programs at the University of California. She hopes to follow in the footsteps of Olympian Natalie Coughlin, who also attended the California school.

Coughlin was a star at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where she earned six of her 11 medals.

"Natalie's always been my idol,” Driscoll said. “Ever since I can remember, she's always been my No. 1 idol and that's what also drew me to Cal."

But before Driscoll moves to the West Coast, she'll try to qualify during next month's Olympic trials, likely racing against Olympians like her idol.

"It's just another person next to you, even though they may have been an Olympian," Driscoll said.

Driscoll, who qualified for the trials as a 14-year-old, said this time around she wants to take a bigger step toward her Olympic dream.

"You just got to want it and you know, have fun,” she said. “It would be amazing if I made it. But everyone has a chance and you never know what's going to happen. But if I was able to make it, I would be happiest person on earth."

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