Off Deck, Feb. 9, 2016: Cierra Runge Reflects on Olympics and First Season at Wisconsin

Photo Courtesy: Brendan Maloney

Six months ago, Cierra Runge swam on the U.S. women’s 800 free relay in prelims at the Olympic Games in Rio, and that night she earned a gold medal as the finals’ squad touched first. Just weeks later, she was headed in a U-Haul to Madison, Wisc., for her sophomore year of college and for her first season as a Badger.

Next week, Runge will swim at her first Big Ten championships, and next month she will head to her second NCAA championships, and she joined this episode of Off Deck to discuss her Olympic experience and her new life at Wisconsin.

Runge explained what the process of adapting her training has been like after swimming for a year at Cal, then spending the Olympic year training with Bob Bowman at Arizona State and then entering Whitney Hite’s program at Wisconsin. She then discussed the difficulties of coming back to school post-Olympics and getting back into racing.

Runge also reflected on what it was like watching close friend Missy Franklin struggle during the Olympics and explained how she thinks Franklin will bounce back.

Watch the full episode below.



  1. Barbara Zeier Tokuz

    She did a terrific job explaining her journey. Good luck to her and the Badgers!

  2. avatar

    Make it 1:56 at 200 free. American team needs you to replace Missy Franklin.

    • avatar
      Michael Maloney

      i think someone named Ledecky has Already replaced Franklin…lol

Author: David Rieder

David Rieder is the host of Swimming World TV and a staff writer for Swimming World. A contributor to the magazine and website since 2009, he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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