When it comes to the Olympics, Botswana might not be regarded as a big competitor, but the country got the attention of the world at Rio 2016 when Naomi Ruele became the first Botswanan swimmerever at the games.
While attending Florida International University (FIU), Ruele competed in the 50-metre freestyle at Conference USA – a championship for US college students. After finishing in first place 12 times (which was a record for FIU), she was named the 2015/2016 Swimmer of the Year.
It didn’t end there. She went on to win seven gold medals at the competition, setting two more records for FIU in the 100-metre freestyle and the 200-metre freestyle relay. And that’s not even talking about the personal bests she set in the events.
Before her appearance at the Olympics, Ruele competed in the 50-metre backstroke at the 2014 South African swimming championships where she won a bronze medal. Currently, the 21-year-old holds Botswana’s national records for women’s 50-metre and 100-metre freestyle, as well as 50-metre and 100-metre backstroke.
Although she couldn’t go beyond the first round at Rio 2016, she isn’t resting on her oars. With the 2018 Commonwealth Games underway in Australia, Ruele was selected to represent her country – and we look forward to her kicking ass while at it!