hayley palmerNew Zealand Swimmer Hayley Palmer, photo courtesy of hayleypalmer.com.

Born in Cheltenham, England, but now a swimmer for New Zealand, 23 year old Hayley Palmer is competing in her second Olympics.

Hayley is a member of New Zealand’s 2012 Olympic Swimming Team, and was also on the team in the 2008 Beijing Games. She competed over the weekend in the qualifications trial for the Women’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay. She is expected to participate in the qualifying trials for the Women’s 50m Freestyle race on Friday, August 3.

Hayley was born on May 8, 1989, and currently lives in Herne Bay in Auckland, New Zealand. According to news reports, she was born in Cheltenham, England. She is eligible for the New Zealand team because her father is a native New Zealander. The family moved to New Zealand, and then back to England again, during her childhood. In 2007, her family returned to New Zealand so she could pursue her dream of representing Aotearoa at the Olympics.

She began swimming as a young child, and holds all of the swimming records for her high school. Her international debut for New Zealand was at the 2008 Short Course Worlds in Manchester in April 2008. Her strong performances for New Zealand and sudden appearance on the international scene made her a surprise qualifier for the 2008 Olympics team. She qualified for the 4x200m Freestyle relay to go to the Olympic Games and just missed out on the individual 100m Free qualifying time, making semi-finals for both the 50m and 100m Free.

In the 2009, she made the semi-finals of the 100m Freestyle at the 3th Fina World Swimming Championships. In 2010, at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India, she took home 2 bronze medals for the 50m Freestyle and 4x100m Freestyle Relay.

Palmer holds the following New Zealand Records:

  • Women’s Long Course 50m Freestyle (25.01)
  • Women’s Long Course 100m Freestyle (53.91)
  • Women’s Short Course 50m Freestyle (24.39)
  • Women’s Short Course 100m Freestyle (53.57)
  • Women’s Short Course 100m Individual Medley (1:01.24)