100 days of Kansas City-area Olympians: Shannon Vreeland, swimming

London Olympics Swimming Women
London Olympics Swimming
Posted at 8:00 AM, Jun 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-05 09:00:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Blue Valley West graduate Shannon Vreeland delivered the first gold medal for a Kansas City-area athlete in more than a decade during the 2012 London Olympics.

Vreeland teamed with Missy Franklin, Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt to claim a gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle relay.

The U.S. quartet set an Olympic record (7:42.92) in swimming past Australia and France for the victory at the London Aquatics Centre.

London Olympics Swimming Women
United States' Allison Schmitt, in the pool, Shannon Vreeland, top left, Dana Vollmer, top center, and Missy Franklin, top right, celebrate winning gold in the women's 4x200-meter freestyle relay swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012.

Vreeland, a freestyle specialist who competed at the University of Georgia, collected five medals, including four gold medals, at World Aquatics Championships; three medals, including two gold, at World Short-Course Swimming Championships; seven medals, including five gold, in Summer Universiade championships; and three medals, including one gold, at Pan Pacific Championships during her international career.

During college, Vreeland swam for four NCAA champion relays with the Bulldogs, which won an SEC title all four years she competed and claimed NCAA titles in 2013 and 2014.

Vreeland swam on Georgia’s winning 400 freestyle relay (2013) as well as three straight winning 800 freestyle relays (2011-13).

Vreeland was the SEC champion in the 200-yard freestyle (2014), setting a meet record, and 500 freestyle (2011).

She and Schmitt were part of a record-setting 800 freestyle relay team in 2013.

Vreeland was the 2014 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women’s swimming, a four-time first-team All-SEC selection and an eight-time NCAA All-American.

Shannon Vreeland
Blue Valley West graduate Shannon Vreeland delivered the first gold medal for a Kansas City-area athlete in more than a decade during the 2012 London Olympics. She is shown here competing in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

She retired after the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials and completed law school at Vanderbilt University.

Vreeland is now an environmental, land use and natural resources attorney based in Atlanta.

She was born in St. Louis but grew up in Overland Park is a 2010 BV West graduate.

Before Vreeland's gold medal, Maurice Greene's double-gold medal performance at the 2000 Sydney Olympics was the last time a Kansas City-area athlete won an Olympic event.

The Kansas City region has a deep, rich history with respect to the Olympic Games. As the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games approach with the Opening Ceremony scheduled for July 23, we will profile an athlete with ties to Kansas City, Missouri or Kansas each day.

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