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Olympian Dana Vollmer Beats Heart Condition, Wins Gold.

Aug 10th, 2012
Staff Writer

Heart of gold || Photo credit: Wikimedia CommonsNever in the history of swimming competition has a women completed the 100-meter butterfly in less than 56 seconds. Not until Sunday, July 29th, 2012, when American Dana Vollmer cruised in to the finish line at 55.98 seconds. What makes her story even more miraculous is the fact that the 24 year-old swimmer suffered from a serious heart condition at the age of 15.

In 2004, swimming in Olympic preliminary competition, Dana noticed irregularities in her heart beat. Concerned with a rapid heart rate after races, Vollmer visited a physician and was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome. The medical issue sends electrical circuits through the heart that cause irregular beats. At 15 years old, the American was required to carry a defibrillator to every meet (her mother held on to the device in the stands for safe keeping). Dana didn’t let anything distract her: “I had never shown symptoms before, so I just forgot about it and acted like there was nothing wrong,” she reported on the website

Vollmer was one of four Americans to win Olympic gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the 800-meter freestyle in world-record time. After a successful Olympic run as a 17 year-old, Dana learned that she miraculously no longer showed signs of a heart condition.

Leaving medical concerns behind, Vollmer swam her way to 2012 Olympic dominance. Competing in three events, Dana swept the field, winning gold in each. Not only did the American win gold, but in record fashion, setting world records in the butterfly and medley, and an olympic record in the team freestyle, according to

Dana Vollmer has proved herself to be a true champion. In an aerobic sport that tests both human strength and endurance, Dana is on top. She ignored a serious obstacle that would challenge the determination and will of any athlete, but not her, not four time Olympic gold medalist Dana Vollmer.