Katinka Hosszu’s Record Start in Rio Eyes USC Olympic History

Aug 8, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Katinka Hosszu (HUN) celebrates after winning the women
Aug 8, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Katinka Hosszu (HUN) celebrates after winning the women /

The USC Women’s Swimming program has made its fair share of noise on the Olympic stage. Katinka Hosszu was the latest to climb the podium.

Sixty-seven women of Troy have occupied spots on Olympic rosters ranging the globe. And in total, 43 Olympic medals —12 gold, 16 silver, and 15 bronze— have been awarded to former members of the Women of Troy’s Swim team.

Among them, swimmers like Janet Evans and Rebecca Soni stand out most profoundly, as both are regarded as legends produced by the swimming program.

Evans, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, tied for the most of any USC Olympian, was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004.

Soni, who won six NCAA Championships during her time at USC, has earned six Olympic medals during her international career, tying her for the most overall medals won at the Olympic Games by any USC athlete.

SEE MORE: 5 Most Decorated USC Olympians Ever

But as the 2016 Summer Olympics have commenced in Rio, USC may have very well found its next Olympic standout in 27-year-old Katinka Hosszu.

Hosszu, who competes for the Hungarian national team, has been the breakthrough performer in the Women’s swimming events thus far in Rio.

After winning her opening heat in the 400m IM, Hosszu set the stage for what would be a historic performance in the final. She concluded Day 1 of competition by winning the gold medal in the 400m IM; in the process setting a new world record in the event with a time of 4:26.36.

Hosszu followed her world record performance up by winning another gold in the 100m backstroke on Monday, with a mark of 58.45.

Prior to these Games, she competed in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics. As a 15-year-old competing at the Athens Games in 2004, Hosszu placed 31st in the 200m freestyle.

The 2008 Beijing games saw Hosszu finish 12th in the 400m IM and 17th in the 200m IM. In the 2012 London Olympics, Hosszu’s gradual improvement continued as she placed: 4th in the 400m IM, 8th in the 200m IM and 9th in the 200m butterfly.

With a collegiate career just as decorated as her Olympic one, Hosszu stands as one of the most celebrated women of Troy to have entered the pool for USC.

The “Iron Lady” — as Hosszu dubbed herself — holds multiple swim records at USC, including the marks for the 200m freestyle, 200m IM, 400m IM, 200m butterfly, and 400m medley relay.

She won five NCAA Titles and was a 20-time All-American as a member of the Women’s Swimming team at USC.

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With two gold medals already in her pocket at Rio, Hosszu looks to add to the impressive Olympic resume she is constructing for herself.

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In addition to winning the 100m backstroke gold on Monday, she also set an Olympic record  in the 200m IM(2:07.45), while qualifying herself for Tuesday evening’s final.

Should Hosszu run the table and win her three remaining events at Rio, including the 200m butterfly and 200m backstroke, she will become the only USC Olympian to win five gold medals in a single Olympics. Swimmer John Naber had four at the 1976 Olympics.

While Hosszu’s rewriting of the USC Olympic history book might still be in question — one thing is certainly not: she has already shaken the global swimming scene by setting both a world and Olympic record in the pool to open the Summer Games.