LONDON -- It's been two days since Dana Vollmer won her first individual Olympic gold medal. Yet, the smiles haven't left the faces of her family."God had a plan all along, so it would happen in the right time and the right place," Cathy Vollmer, Dana's mother, said Tuesday at an event sponsored by Speedo. "It all worked out; it all came together at just the perfect moment."Vollmer, 24, won her first individual gold medal in record-setting time. The Granbury product set the world record in the 100-meter butterfly, going 55.98 on Sunday night.With the gold medal around her neck, Vollmer had searched the crowd hard. But her husband and her parents were lost among the 12,000 people in the Aquatics Centre. She desperately wanted to see their faces."I was trying to take it all in, the crowd and everything," Vollmer said. "I didn't know where my family was. I was kind of searching. I was thinking about all the work that so many people around me put in and the belief everyone had in me. There've been so many moments in my career when I didn't know if I could keep going. Just knowing that my family was there for me, pushing me along, I know I wouldn't be here without them."It paid off. We did it. We did something no one's ever done before. I'm just so really thankful to all the people who have been involved."While Vollmer didn't get to hug them, thank them and share the moment with them until a couple of hours later at a reunion taped by NBC's Today Show in the Main Press Centre, her parents couldn't miss her smile on the podium."Her smile made everything worth it," Les Vollmer, Dana's father, said.Vollmer was destined for this. She competed in the butterfly for the first time when she was 4 and began breaking records soon after. At 12, after joining the Fort Worth Area Swim Team under Ron Forrest, Vollmer swam in her first U.S. Olympic Trials. She was only 16, and still in high school, when she won her first Olympic gold medal, swimming on the 4x200m free relay in Athens.The Vollmers maintain Dana wouldn't be here without Forrest, University of California coach Teri McKeever and Dana's husband of less than a year, former Stanford swimmer Andy Grant.Elephants get credit, too.Les Vollmer, a nuclear technician who travels extensively for The Ames Group, was stuck in South Africa for several weeks in 2000. On a shopping trip, he bought an elephant charm for Dana."I was away from her," Les said. "She was pretty young, and I didn't want to be away from her. The idea was I would never forget her, because elephants never forget."Everyone in the family now has elephant charms, and Dana recently showed off some new elephant earrings on Twitter. It has become her good luck charm."Swimmers are superstitious," Cathy said.Les even bought a spare, because "we don't want to be without an elephant."Dana, too, was fortunate to be wearing two swim caps Sunday night. One came off and sank to the bottom of the pool. It was no great loss, as she broke the world record anyway.Vollmer has a gold medal, a world record and more than 30,000 Twitter followers so far. And the 4x200 free relay today likely will net her another medal...and more followers."She's definitely getting recognized," Grant, her husband, said. "It's pretty awesome."