AUBURN, Ala. – Swimming took Bahamian Olympian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace off the island. Now, she hopes to help the sport take off on the island.
The former Auburn star is the lone female swimmer representing the Bahamas Olympic team in London, coming from a tiny nation where water play is largely the domain of tourists, not natives.
Vanderpool-Wallace says winning a medal might help some of her fellow Bahamians to realize, "Hey, I can do that."
Algernon Cargill, president of the Bahamas Swimming Federation, estimates that 70 percent of the some 350,000 Bahamians can't swim more than 50 meters. No swimmer from the Bahamas has made the Olympic semifinals.
Vanderpool-Wallace is already the first Bahamian to win a medal at a world swimming meet, taking third at the 2010 Short Course World Championships.