5 Reasons to Cheer for Olympian Kathleen Baker

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott


Editorial Coverage Sponsored By FINIS

By Alison Murtagh, Swimming World College Intern

Kathleen Baker, a 19-year-old from Winston Salem, North Carolina, qualified for her first Olympic team in the 100-meter backstroke this past month in Omaha, Nebraska. While the nation waits to see what the young rookie will achieve in Rio this August, the following are a few fun reasons for why you should cheer on Baker as she continues to leave her mark on the swimming community:

1. She loves sparkles and glitter.


Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

Baker always gets her nails done before big swim meets. The manicure usually incorporates sparkles or glitter. Additionally, a few years ago she made the permanent switch from yellow Crocs to blue sparkly UGGS to wear when she walks out for big meets.

2. She excels at video games. 

Kathleen Baker

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Despite having talent in the pool, Baker also has major skills when it comes to video games. According to her sister Rachel, a senior at Washington and Lee University, Kathleen claims to have two talents in her life: video games and swimming. Baker also enjoys other games for the Wii and on her phone, including Mario Kart, Call of Duty, Oven Break, and Temple Run.

3. She’s an animal lover.


Photo Courtesy: Rachel Baker

The Baker family has two cats named Biscuit and Butterbean. Baker likes all animals, but is especially fond of her feline friends.

4. Fun socks are a must.


Baker loves socks. She sports them both at swim meets and on a regular basis. Before Trials, her family gave her a psych bag each day, complete with a pair (or pairs) of crazy socks that she could wear on deck.

5. Her teammates have created many nicknames for her.


Photo Courtesy: Kathleen Baker

Throughout her freshman year at Cal, Baker has adopted a plethora of nicknames including: Thleen, Thleen Bean, Thleen Bean the Green Bean, and Little Bean.

*Special thanks to Kathleen’s older sister, Rachel, for helping out with this article.


  1. avatar
    Caroline Ratkus

    Taylor Light

  2. avatar
    Kathy LeFevre

    II think she excels at anything she puts her mind to. A wonderful young woman I feel so proud to know! Rock ’em in Rio, your best is yet to come!!!