By Jennifer Tsai , FashionnStyle Reporter | Jul 29, 2012 07:07 PM EDT
Dana Vollmer of the U.S. swimming team doubly shone at the 2012 Summer Olympics Games as she set a new world record and won a gold medal for the U.S. on Sunday.
Vollmer earned the U.S. its third gold medal as she finished the women’s 100-meter butterfly final at 55.98 seconds, and became the first woman ever to break the 56-second barrier.
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Upon seeing the record-breaking time, the 24-year-old New Yorker dropped back her head before breaking into a broad smile. Vollmer slapped the water and pumped her fists.
"I'm on top of the world right now." Vollmer said, according to CBS News.
"I still know I can go faster."
"I kept telling myself that my strength is my second 50. I kept really calm," she added.
"The top cap came off," Vollmer told NBC.
"I have never had that happen before. I thought about it, and maybe it kept my mind off my legs hurting or something. I don't know. It's just so exciting, the whole thing."
The previous world record of 56.06 was held Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom at the 2009 world championships. High-tech bodysuit has been banned ever since then, and Vollmer marks only the fourth record breaker in the era of the rubberized swimsuit.
Vollmer’s first finish was followed by Luying of China, who won silver with the record of 56.87 seconds, and Australia’s Alicia Coutts finishing third with 56.94 seconds.
At the age of 16, Vollmer first performed in the 2004 Olympics where she had won gold in the relay.
She was then tragically slowed down by injuries and illness and could not join the 2008 Beijing Olympics, diagnosed with an allergy to eggs. After she changed to a gluten-free diet and recovered from health problems, Vollmer easily won qualifying rounds and even set an Olympic record in the semifinals.
“Coming back from 2008, after Trials, I didn’t know if I was going to swim,” Vollmer said of her valleys, according to The New York Times.
“I had worked for so many years to reach that one goal, but along the way I had a shoulder injury, a back injury and I was having to deal with fatigue and so much pressure that I just wasn’t having fun with it at all.”
Breaking the world record at the 100-meter butterfly, Vollmer is on her way to more victories to come.
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