Every day during the Olympics, SIOC will feature an Olympian who's also a college student. Today, USC senior and American swimmer Rebecca Soni chats about her breakfast routine, orange chicken and Team USA's new-fangled swimsuits.
This interview was conducted before Olympic competition began. Rebecca won gold in Thursday's 200m breaststroke final and silver in Monday's 100m breaststroke final.
Name: Rebecca Soni
Olympic event: 200 breaststroke
Hometown: Plainsboro, N.J.
What is the best part of being in the Olympics?
Getting to be here with the team, and getting to know them. The coaches have been great and I've picked up a lot of tips and experience.
How'd you get your start in your sport?
I started to actually swim competitively when I was 10. I was a gymnast originally, but it was easier if I was a swimmer because my sister swam and we could just go to the same practice.
Do you have any superstitions or good luck charms?
I like to do things in the same routine. If I'm racing, I eat the same kind of breakfast. Usually when I'm swimming it's either just a bagel or a bowl of cereal, kind of plain. Other than that, it's just keeping everything kind of the same.
If you could take part in any Olympic sport besides your own, what would it be?
I don't know, that's tough. Gymnastics, I guess.
What's the best Olympic freebie you've gotten so far?
We get a lot of free apparel, lots of clothes and new suits. And the experiences.
What's your favorite kind of Chinese food, and how much of it are you planning on eating while you're in Beijing?
Orange chicken, but I don't think they have food like that over there.
Is there anything you're hoping to see/do in China?
We'll have a little time afterwards because we'll be staying until the closing ceremonies. I'm hoping to do a little sightseeing and get out of the city a little bit. And also some shopping.
What's your proudest accomplishment in your sport thus far, besides making it to Beijing?
Winning NCAA's for the third time [in the 200 breaststroke].
How did your friends at school react to you making the team?
They're all really excited. They're all sending me messages and keeping me entertained.
Better uniform: USC or Team USA?
USA. For the USA we have this new suit that kind of looks like the flag, so there's lots of colors. Actually, it's kind of odd looking, but we've got some pretty cool warm ups.
What are three movies, TV shows or bands you can't live without?
Into the Wild and Across the Universe are my two favorite movies right now. And a TV show? Well, let's see, I like Grey's Anatomy. And I like to put my iPod on shuffle.
Who is your favorite professional athlete?
I don't know. I don't really follow sports.
Who is your celebrity crush?
The guy from Grey's Anatomy. What's his name? I can't remember, but that guy.
[Editor's note: It's possible Soni's referring to either Patrick Dempsey or Eric Dane, who more commonly known as McDreamy and McSteamy and both perfectly acceptable choices for celebrity crushes.]
Do you have any hobbies besides your sport?
Usually when I'm at home, I just like to find new places around Hollywood.
If you win a medal, what will you do with it?
I don't know. Either keep it at the apartment or send it home to my parents.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I don't know what I want to do career-wise, but hopefully I'll still be swimming, even if it's not competitively. Maybe I'll be settling down and buying a house.