Scroll for more

Athletes

Lia
Neal
United States of AmericaUnited States of America, USA
Female
Swimming

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
13 February 1995
Residence
San Diego, CA, USA
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
Cantonese, English, Mandarin
Higher education
Science, Technical Studies - Stanford University: United States

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age six and joined a club at eight.
Why this sport?
She enjoyed swimming lessons and asked her mother to take her to more. "Also, my friends were taking lessons and suggested that I join them."
Club / Team
Team Elite Aquatics: San Diego, CA, USA
Name of coach
David Marsh [club], USA

General Interest

Hobbies
Making music playlists, going to restaurants, concerts and the cinema. (lianeal.com, 30 Apr 2018; usaswimming.org, 06 Aug 2016)
Hero / Idol
US swimmer Natalie Coughlin. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 01 Jul 2012)
Injuries
In 2018 she had superior labral tears from anterior to posterior in both of her shoulders, and was out of action for two months. (swimswam.com, 12 Oct 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Experiencing new things is kind of what motivates me in the sport." (swimswam.com, 12 Oct 2018)
Other information
OTHER ACTIVITIES
In June 2020 she and fellow swimmer Jacob Pebley set up Swimmers For Change, an organisation aiming to promote diversity and inclusion in swimming. She is also a founding member of the Black Leadership in Aquatics Coalition [BLAC], a group of current and former members of the US national aquatics team that began working with and advising USA Swimming on racial issues. She said she encouraged to get involved in social issues through Pebley's personal experiences. "He [Pebley] was feeling what a lot of people were feeling around that time, when things were starting to really unfold in just feeling a little bit helpless. Jacob came to me asking, 'What can we, as swimmers, do ourselves?'" She also serves as a league member for Voice In Sport [VIS], an organisation that helps bring more visibility to female athletes. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 02 Oct 2020; LinkedIn profile, 01 Jun 2020)

MOVE TO SAN DIEGO
In 2018 she joined Team Elite Aquatics in San Diego, CA, United States of America, having spent the previous five years in the swimming programme at Stanford University. "I had five amazing years at Stanford that I wouldn't trade for anything else. I gained a lot from my time being there, and the hardest part by far I think was leaving the team, because I love those girls. But I think five years is quite a long time for anyone, and in order for me to progress and like what I'm doing - especially something that I've been doing for 17 years - I need a kind of change of pace, and the opportunity to learn new things. I just needed to explore something new in my swimming." (swimswam.com, 12 Oct 2018)