U.S. swimmer Caitlin Leverenz won the bronze medal in the 200-meter individual medley at the London 2012 Olympics.
The 23-year-old Tucson, Ariz., native said she was "overwhelmed" with joy when "I saw the three next to my name."
"It was just an overwhelming sense of emotion and pride, and just an incredible feeling," Leverenz told Athletes in Action.
Leverenz credits God with keeping her level-headed during the competition.
"Like before my race and my 200-M I was incredibly nervous and behind the blocks I was just like, you know, like "Let Your will be done" and let's see what I can do!" she said, laughing.
Read the rest of Leverenz's interview with Athletes in Action below.
I like knew going into the race that I was in medal contention and if I kinda put together a good race I had a shot at it. So I just, you know, finished the race with everything I had and I turned around and I was just, like I saw the 3 next to my name and I was absolutely overwhelmed. And I like put my head in my hands and started crying, but smiling at the same time. And it was just an overwhelming sense of emotion and pride, and just an incredible feeling.
I think just keeping myself very grounded, and grounded in my faith and grounded in people who I love and trust, is kind of what keeps me from going crazy and getting too nervous. And trials are definitely much more nerve-wracking and crazy than the Olympic Games and here we get to kind of enjoy what we have already earned.
A lot of times when I get too nervous the best thing I do is I just start praying because it's something I can do that will calm me. I just have a conversation with God, and it brings me back to a sense of … a calming sense. Definitely you know, like before my race and my two hundred M I was incredibly nervous and behind the blocks I was just like, you know, like "let your will be done" and let's see what I can do! (laughs)
I think, you know, my faith waxes and wanes just as any normal person, and you know, I think the best thing I do for my faith is just try to surround myself with people you know, who share the similar faith as I do. And am I'm just as involved and love being a part of Athletes in Action. You know I like sharing my journey and sharing my struggles with other believers and other athletes, and being able to talk about that and talk about those challenges. I think it's always something that, you know there's not one pin point time in my life where I think things kind of changed and I saw the light, I think it's just a constant growing and developing thing.
Going into my senior year of high school I was able to explore my faith and find my faith on my own, which you know I hadn't really had an opportunity to do before, and I got really involved with Young Life and I became a junior leader there and I went to church with my family, youth groups, and it was just something like, you know, my friend and I started a Bible study for kids going from their senior year of high school into college. Like I said, I got to explore developing relationship with God for myself, not just because it's what I knew for my whole life. You know I didn't train as well swimming-wise that year, but my overall health and well-being and faith, like, it was just a very growing year for me.