Many dream of representing their country, but very few get the opportunity to do so on the world’s biggest stage. For New Mexico State University swimmer Jannah Sonnenschein, that dream became reality when the sophomore was chosen to represent Mozambique in the 31st Olympiads held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Originally from Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sonnenschein moved to Mozambique at an early age and has since competed for the Mozambican youth national team. Standing at 5-6, she has competed in several international competitions including the Commonwealth Games in Scotland and the World Junior Olympic games in Nanjing, China.
“As a coach it is the ultimate dream and goal to help athletes qualify for the Olympic Games,” NM State head Swimming & Diving coach Rick Pratt said. “We are so happy for Jannah and proud that our program played a part in her success. Her qualification speaks volumes about our culture here and that we have the right environment to take swimming to the highest level.”
She’s even had the honor of carrying her nation’s flag during the opening ceremonies at the World Junior Olympics. The chance to receive that honor once more is likely, but this time, it will be in front of millions watching around the world.
“Most of all we are proud of Jannah, who sacrificed much to be where she is now,” Pratt said. “She is a terrific athlete and person and embodies the Olympic spirit. She is the perfect representative for both Mozambique and NM State and we look forward to cheering her on as she competes in Rio.”
Sonnenschein showed great promise as a freshman, finishing in sixth at the Western Athletic Conference Championship meet in the 100m fly with the time of 55.67, the fourth-fastest time in program history. As a sophomore, she placed fifth in the 100m fly with a time of 55.20 – shaving .47 off her previous time at the conference championship meet.
No matter the result, Sonnenschein will have Aggie fans cheering her on from Las Cruces, the Netherlands and Mozambique as she steps foot onto the pool deck to go for gold in the 100m fly.
Important Dates and Times
Aug. 6 – Qualifying heats, 10 a.m. (MT)
Aug. 6 – Semifinals, 7 p.m. (MT)
Aug. 7 – Finals, 7 p.m. (MT)
How to Watch
Aggie fans can watch Sonnenschein on NBC, online at nbcolympics.com or on their mobile or tablet devices with the NBC Sports App with a paid TV subscription.