Kathleen Baker Reveals Twisted Ankle & Fractured Bone in Foot, Still All In On Olympic Trials

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Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Former world record holder and reigning Olympic silver medalist Kathleen Baker announced Tuesday she had a freak walking accident in the beginning of May, resulting in a twisted ankle and a fractured bone in her foot. Baker insisted on social media she has been able to be in the water everyday and is focused on Trials, which begin this coming weekend in Omaha, Nebraska.

Baker is entering her third Olympic Trials this week where she is a favorite to make her second Olympic team for Tokyo. Baker, 24, is ranked seventh nationally this season in the 100 back, the event where she won silver in Rio and previously held the world and American record. She also has the second fastest time in the United States this year in the 200 IM (2:10.16) in an event where she had the fastest time in the world in 2018, as well as the fifth fastest time in the 200 back (2:07.54). She won two national titles in the 200 back in 2017 and 2018.

Kathleen Baker made the 2016 Olympic team after her freshman year at Cal Berkeley where she won gold in the 4×100 medley relay and silver in the individual 100 backstroke. Her last meet came in late April where she swam the 200 IM at a time trial meet. The severity of Baker’s foot is not known, but she should still be a favorite to make her second Olympics for Tokyo.

Excerpt from Kathleen Baker continues to be face of triumph over obstacles as she aims for second Olympic team

By Dan D’Addona

When Kathleen Baker qualified for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, she shared her story and her struggles with Crohn’s disease on the global platform.

It was something most people, even many close to her, did not know or did not fully understand.

Now, aiming for her second Olympic team, Baker’s story is well-known within the swimming community and she has been a source of courage and inspiration for many young swimmers who are battling more than just the competition.

“I have been more in tune in my body and tried to live less in denial about having a chronic disease because it can be hard to want to be normal — and I am not, and have always struggled with that,” Kathleen Baker told Swimming World.

Baker is 24 and plans to swim the 100 and 200 backstroke events as well as the 200 IM at the upcoming Olympic Trials.
Her outlook on the sport and her journey have changed a lot in the past five years.

“So much has changed. I was 19 and so few people in my life actually knew I had Crohn’s disease vs. now when it is common knowledge,” Baker said. “I love that I am able to share my story and also love that so many people around me understand why I do things differently out of the pool or in the pool, like needing more sleep or going to a doctor’s appointment. It is a different level of understanding, which on a personal level, is really nice for me.”

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