U.S. swimmer Lydia Jacoby’s hot pink goggles have become her trademark, but during the mixed relay at the Tokyo Olympics, they were her downfall when they fell off and got stuck around her mouth during the race.
The 17-year-old was about to kick off the breaststroke leg of the men’s and women’s relay race Saturday when every swimmer’s nightmare became a reality: her goggles fell from her eyes just as she dove into the pool.
Watch Jacoby power through the setback and complete her heat of the race by clicking here. Note that the U.S. team is in Lane 5.
“It’s hard to breath with a pair of goggles on your mouth,” the NBC Sports commentator said.
Fortunately, Jacoby said afterwards that she was still able to breathe despite the positioning of the goggles. She admitted, however, that she was “definitely panicking a little.”
“I think my turn was where it was the most rough because I couldn’t see the wall but other than that I feel like I pulled through as best as I could,” she told reporters.
There were no hard feelings on Team USA, who finished fifth in the race with Great Britain winning the gold, followed by China then Australia.
“I mean, anyone that’s swam with their goggles in their mouth, like she did, she did fantastic and the rest of the relay did really nice as well,” Jacoby’s relay-mate Ryan Murphy said, adding that he was “really proud of how she handled those circumstances.”
Despite Saturday’s proceedings, we highly doubt Jacoby will be retiring those pink beauties anytime soon.
For one, she won the gold wearing them in the women’s 100 meter breaststroke on Tuesday. But they’re also the same pair she wore as a child, which were gifted to her by former Olympic swimmer Jessica Hardy. Hardy tweeted about the story earlier this week.
“Pink goggle watch!” she wrote. “Help me cheer on Lydia Jacoby in tonight’s 100 breaststroke final 7:17PM PST. Met this girl hosting a clinic at her home pool in Alaska 5 years ago & she’s still racing in my goggles since. Go get em Lydia proud of you no matter what happens!”
You can watch the full race via NBC Sports here.