During the preliminaries for the 100-meter women’s backstroke on Sunday, Kathleen Baker lost one of her earrings. The 19-year-old, who wears the pearls for each of her races, put out a call on social media — and presumably in the locker room — for her fellow swimmers to keep an eye out for the missing piece of jewelry that was lost in the depths of the Rio Olympics pool.
— David Marsh (@dmswimmac) August 7, 2016
As Baker told NBC, pearl earrings are kind of her “thing,” and when she exited the pool the other day, she had only one on even though she had both when she went in. While her competitors were most likely moving too fast to spot the small accessory, a scuba diver in full gear — wetsuit, tank, flippers, and mask — was able to get it. The diver recovered the small accessory at the bottom of lane 3, where the teenager was swimming, and found it around the 15-meter mark.
Jewelry lost and found from Rio: Lost: pearl earring. Found: silver medal. Kathleen Baker will take that trade.
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) August 9, 2016
Luckily, Baker’s pearl earring was returned to her before the next day’s medal race, where she took silver. “So Incredible! I mean I went a best time and just got a medal!” Baker exclaimed after her heat, in which she came in just milliseconds behind Hungary’s Katinka Hosszú. “I couldn’t even put into words how happy I am and how grateful for the amount of support I have here from the teammates and coaches along the way. It just takes a village for everyone to get me here, and I couldn’t be happier.”
Just call Baker the Girl With Two Pearl Earrings.