Federal Way native Ariana Kukors, who has trained at Des Moines’ Mt. Rainer Pool, will be in the 2012 Summer Olympics, opening Friday, July 27 in London, and continuing through Sunday, August 12.
Kukors is swimming in the 200m Individual Medley. Heats start July 30.
She is the current holder of the Gold Medal in that event, which she won in Rome in 2009.
Kukors qualified for the US Olympics Team in June by placing second, and if she makes the medal round in London, she will be swimming for gold on July 31.
We had the privilege of meeting Ariana at the rally to save Mt. Rainier Pool in October, 2009, and here are some pics Scott Schaefer took of her then (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):
Here’s some interesting info about this locally-grown Olympian, courtesy the Olympics website:
She trains up to four hours a day, seven days a week, covering 7 to 9km. (usaswimming.org, 30 Oct 2011)
Most influential person in career
Her sisters. “Because all of us are swimmers, we relate to each other, support each other and have the utmost respect for each other.” (usaswimming.org, 26 Nov 2010)
Superstitions / Rituals
She never races without wearing her pearl earrings. (chicagosep.com, 03 Oct 2011)
She was named the 2009 Female American Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World magazine. She shared the award with Rebecca Soni. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 29 Nov 2009)
She works with the US Navy SEALS and USA Swimming to promote the military group’s Fitness Challenge. Aimed at improving the fitness levels of young swimmers, they have to complete a number of exercises in the time requirements of the special operations force. (examiner.com, 02 May 2011)
SOME CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
- Qualified for the 2012 Olympic team by finishing second in the 200m IM
- Won a bronze medal in the 200m IM at the 2011 FINA World Championships
- Won the 100m IM and placed third in the 200m IM at the 2010 FINA Short Course World Championships
- Captured the national title in the 200m IM at the 2010 CP National Championships
- Took home gold and set a world record in the 200m IM at the 2009 FINA World Championships; also claimed silver in the 800m free relay
- Placed third in the 200m free at the 2009 Nationals
- Placed third in the 200m IM and sixth in the 400m IM and 200m breast at the 2008 Olympic Trials
- Earned a second place finish in the 200y IM, a third place finish in the 400y IM and a fourth place finish in the 200y breast at the 2008 NCAA Championships