Dana Vollmer enjoyed the day after winning her 100-meter butterfly bronze medal. The Granbury swimmer made the rounds on her victory tour Monday.
It wasn’t the gold she won in 2012, while breaking the world record, but Vollmer’s third-place finish came only 17 months after giving birth to her first child and 15 months after deciding to resume her career.
Vollmer, one of 10 moms on Team USA in 2016, became only the second American swimmer to reach the podium after having a child. Dara Torres was other.
“I had no idea if I was going to make it here or not, but that wasn’t a negative; that wasn’t a sadness,” Vollmer said. “It really was starting at ground zero. I barely made it through warmups, and what I think it helped me with long-term, was an appreciation of all those little baby steps. I had zero abs 16 months ago, and I think I have almost better abs now than I did pre-baby.”
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It was her 71/2 weeks of bed rest, which Vollmer describes as “miserable,” before the birth of Arlen Jackson Grant that brought her back to the pool.
“I like to be busy,” Vollmer said. “I like to move, and I think really what it helped me discover was what I really love about sports. It’s really fine-tuning and finding those little details and kind of my understanding of physics in the water and how you move and power and balance, and I love all that stuff.”
Vollmer, who owns six Olympic medals, still has the 400 medley relay Saturday when she’ll attempt to win her third medal this Games.