Junior Nina Rangelova competed in her second Olympics this past summer in London after her 2008 debut in Beijing. As a student athlete swimming for both her country, Bulgaria, and her university, she’s kind of a busy girl.
What was it like in London this summer?
It was really really exciting to be in the same place as all of the great athletes from all over the world. I’ve seen Phelps a million times before and Lochte—I see them every meet.
How was your Olympic experience this year different than the 2008 Olympics?
In 2008 I didn’t realize what the hell was going on. I was 17 and I’d forget my shoes at the pool and have to go back. That helped me though with my performance.
Was it nerve-wrecking competing against the world’s greatest swimmers?
People from back home know me and believe in me which brings a lot of pressure. You have to know how to deal with the pressure, and I knew what I could do.
How did you train for the Olympics and for SMU’s team?
Was that a crazy workout schedule?All of my hard work was in May and June after school finished when I was training in Dallas. This was good so I could focus on swimming but it was also boring because I’m used to being busy at school. If I wouldn’t have come to the states, I probably wouldn’t be competing now.
Do you plan on competing in the 2016 Olympics?
Ya, I would like to. I’ll be 25.