Lydia Jacoby, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer, Is Also a Bluegrass Musician
Lydia Jacoby made headlines on Tuesday (July 27) when she won the gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2020 Summer Olympics. The 17-year-old Seward, Alaska, native's win was a first: for American women in swimming at the 2020 Olympics and for Alaska-born swimmers at any Olympic Games. Her time (1:04.95) also set a record for 17-18-year-old American girls.
But Jacoby has another talent: She's a bluegrass musician.
"In my town, we used to have a bluegrass camp for kids every summer,” Jacoby shares (per Bluegrass Today). "There’s a group of us that really enjoyed it, so our parents kind of brought us together."
Indeed, before her Olympic triumph, Jacoby spent several years in a bluegrass band, the Snow River String Band, playing upright bass (though she also plays guitar). Several performances — including the one below, from the 2018 Seward Music and Arts Festival — can be found on YouTube. That's Jacoby second from the left:
The Snow River String Band spent about half a decade playing together, including at several festivals in Alaska, before dissolving as members headed off to college.
“I still enjoy playing music,” Jacoby says. “It’s a great thing to do.”
Jacoby began swimming at the age of six and broke her first state record at the age of 12. Still in high school, she will spend her senior year at Seward High School, which she also attending during her freshman and sophomore years; she was home-schooled he junior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jacoby has committed to swim for the University of Texas at Austin beginning in the fall of 2022.
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