Boston (CNN)Lia Thomas stood tall and smiled wide atop the championship podium, her nearly 6-foot-4 frame pushing her head past the top of the Ivy League’s green photo backdrop.
With one hand she held a placard reading “Ivy 2022 Champion,” and with the other she stuck up two fingers in that classic sign of victory. Her hair nestled alongside the medal around her neck as a blue University of Pennsylvania jacket hung from her broad swimmer’s shoulders.
Inside Harvard University’s Blodgett Pool, not far from a large banner reading “8 Against Hate,” referring to the Ivy’s eight schools, her victories in the 500-yard freestyle on Thursday, the 200-yard freestyle on Friday and the 100-yard freestyle on Saturday showed a star athlete going about her business. The crowd of family and friends cheered politely, and Thomas posed for photos with Penn teammates and shook the hands of her closest competitors.