Schmitt wins gold, sets Olympic mark

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Pittsburgh-born Allison Schmitt of the United States set an Olympic record Tuesday in the 200-meter freestyle, taking home the gold medal.

Schmitt finished in 1 minute, 53.61 seconds, more than a second better than the previous mark set by Italy's Federica Pellegrini four years ago in Beijing.

Camille Muffat of France, who bested Schmitt in the 400 freestyle, finished second.

Members of Schmitt's family, who are in London, watched as she secured her first gold medal. Her uncle, George Schmitt, who lives in the Pittsburgh area, said it was a phenomenal experience to see her win gold.

"It's just fabulous," he said. "It's awesome. If I remember correctly, she led the race from start to finish.

"The crowd reaction was loud the entire race. It seemed like they were really behind her."

Of course, no one was behind her more than her family.

"We're very proud of her accomplishment," he said.

And after watching her win, George Schmitt said he noticed one thing as Allison exited the pool.

"She had a great big smile -- typical Allison," he said.

In Pittsburgh, Allison Schmitt's aunt, Amy Bocian, had not yet seen her niece's success. Because NBC would be airing Schmitt's race in prime-time television on a tape delay, Bocian would not be seeing it until later.

"We usually watch it online but not all of us were able to," she said, referring to some of Allison's other Pittsburgh-area aunts and uncles.

So while George Schmitt was relishing in the excitement of the 200-meter freestyle victory, Bocian was competing in her own Olympic event of dodging the results.

"I haven't seen it yet so I don't want to know," she said quickly.

She and three of her siblings were to meet late Tuesday night in the North Hills to watch Schmitt swim.

When they finally do see her, their great big smiles will match the one on their television.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. First Published August 1, 2012 4:00 AM


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