Lia Neal is the second African-American swimmer in history to medal in the Olympic games, placing bronze in the 4×100 relay with the U.S. team on Saturday. Rome Neal, Lia’s brother and a senior video producer at the New York Post, describes the childhood that prepared his 17-year-old baby sister for this victorious moment.
We look at her as our baby sister. I am 20 years older than Lia. My brothers, Smile and Treasure, are 19 and 15 years older, respectively.
She is the girl that my parents, Siu and Rome, always wanted, especially my mom. She was in a family that was all testosterone.
Even before Lia became an Olympian, we were really proud of her. People who know her would say she is funny and quick-witted.
She first started swimming when she was 6, and I had left home in Brooklyn by then. I remember at one of her first races. I told her I didn’t want to her to be afraid to be more than ordinary. If she feels like racing, she should race to win and not feel bad if she beats other people. Because when you are younger, you want to blend in with the crowd.
Read more at the New York Post.