Former Olympic champ Jenny Thompson takes on new opponent in Charleston

Local News

FILE – In this Aug. 14, 2004, file photo, Jenny Thompson swims during a qualifying heat of the 100 meter butterfly at the Olympic Aquatic Centre during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. One of America’s greatest Olympic swimmers, Thompson is now on the front line of the fight against coronavirus as an anesthesiologist at the VA hospital in Charleston, South Carolina. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Jenny Thompson still loves speed. Only now, she performs in an operating room rather than the pool.

One of America’s greatest Olympic swimmers, Thompson is on the front line of the fight against coronavirus as an anesthesiologist at the VA hospital in Charleston, South Carolina.

She competed in four Olympics, winning eight golds and 12 medals overall before retiring after the 2004 Athens Games.

Then she turned to her other passion: medicine.

Thompson chose anesthesiology because it fit the persona of a swimmer who specialized in sprint races.

The coronavirus outbreak has added a whole new element to her job.

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