Olympic Medalist Lia Neal Headed to Stanford

Fort Greene swim phenom is California-bound.

First it was London.

Now Olympic bronze medalist Lia Neal is ready to head in the opposite direction — geographically, that is — announcing her intention to join an elite swim squad at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., according to Swim Swam magazine.

After watching her become the second African-American swimmer to compete in the Summer Games, Neal's tight-knit Fort Greene clan couldn't be more proud of their Ivy League-bound Olympian, according to a source close to the family.

"We wish Lia continued success in the Olympics in years to come," said Lia's father, Rome Neal. "My hope is that she wins gold medals in individual events in the 2016 Olympics."

The 17-year-old is set to graduate from her Manhattan high school in 2013.

According to the source, Lia Neal's choice of schools might be a result of her parents’ commitment to higher education.

Both Rome and wife Siu Neal met at City Tech in Downtown Brooklyn. Rome later went on to get a degree in business administration at Baruch College while Sui graduated City Tech with an associate's degree in accounting.

“Not only did I meet my wife at the College, but it opened up several opportunities for me,” Rome Neal said.

Swim Swam said Stanford's signing of Neal put the school in a prime spot to compete in the 2014 NCAA Championships.

"She’s one of the country’s best freestylers, at any age," the publication wrote.


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