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Former UA Olympian speaks on Body Smart Day

Posted at 8:44 PM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 22:44:19-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Lacey Nymeyer-John has lived every swimmer's dream.  The Wildcat alum won a national championship, an Olympic silver medal, and broke a world record.

"I sometimes have to check myself, did that really happen? Is that me?" she laughs.
 
The Tucson native won a silver medal in the 4 x 100-meter freestyle relay at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
 
One of the greatest freestylers in Arizona Wildcat history now hopes to make a difference on the campus she once walked as a student.
 
"Transitioning out of swimming is when my real body issues came into play," she admits.  "As an athlete it was comparing my body to others, like 'oh she's so strong and I look so weak,"
 
Like many athletes and young adults in college, Lacey found herself comparing her body to others.  
 
Body Smart is a student-led initiative on Arizona's campus that promotes positive self-worth and body image.
 
The Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association found in a 2014 study that 40-percent of all female college students have eating disorders.
 
Body Smart Day is held annually during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.  The group asked Nymeyer-John to present "I AM What I AM... Accepting Your Best Self," sharing her journey of self-validation, confidence, and learning how to accept her best self.
 
"It's not just arms and legs it's your paddles, it's your motor. It's your complete vehicle to achieve your goals and gain success. I'm so grateful for my body," says the now expecting-mother. 
 
The Olympian wants students to feel the same way about their bodies after hearing her story.