Three-time Olympian Stephanie Au proudly carried the flag for the Hong Kong contingent during the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. She called the experience, “a truly magical moment” in her distinguished swimming career
The University of California alumnus has represented the island city at the 2008 games in Beijing, at the 2012 Olympics in London, and will continue her Olympic journey in this year’s games in Rio.
Back in college, she swam for the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with a degree in environmental economics and policy in 2014. After her graduation, Au chose to return to her homeland.
During her 4-year stint as California Golden Bears Athlete, Stephanie Au was a prolific contributor for the two Cal Women’s Swimming and Diving NCAA team national champions in 2011 and 2012. She also helped boost the team’s campaign in the 2013 and 2014 season.
Well loved by her Hong Kong fans, the 24-year old Olympic mainstay has also successfully held several records back home including records in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle as well as 4×100m medley relay, and short course records in 400 m, 800 m and 1500 m freestyle, 4×100 m medley relay and 4×100 m freestyle relay.
Au made her first Olympic games appearance in 2008 Beijing when she was only 16, the youngest Hong Kong Olympian in the tournament.
“The media was going crazy over me, and I had never gotten interviewed before the Beijing Olympic games,” Au told university paper The Daily Cal back in 2014, recalling her Olympic debut. “People just started coming and asking me questions, and I had no idea how to respond.”
She also revealed how playing for the California Golden Bears instilled her how to be a team player.
“Looking at things differently, I do think a lot of the things I learned on the Cal swimming team can be applied to my normal lifestyle,” Au said. “Not everyone has to be your enemy. Even if you are competing and are fighting for the same thing, there’s room for both of you to be pushing each other.”
While Au competed in both 100 Back and 200 Back at the 2012 London, she is only scheduled to swim in one event at Rio: the 4×100 medley relay with the Hong Kong team alongside fellow Cal Olympians Camille Chang (freestyle) and Yvette Kong (breaststroke). Stephanie Au will be taking the lead off backstroke leg of the medley relay in the morning of August 13.