Leila Vaziri is a proud member of PAAIA.
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Having started swimming at the young age of seven, Leila Vaziri knows better than anyone else that the key to success is persistence and determination. “She was just Leila when she came home,” her mother told PAAIA, “but she was a little lion when she was in the water, doing her thing.”
Since then, Leila has gone on to win several awards and break world records.
Leila completed her collegiate swimming career at Indiana University where she was majoring in communication and culture. She was the 2005 Big Ten Champion in the 100 yard backstroke and the 2007 NCAA bronze medalist in the 100 yard backstroke. Vaziri earned 15 All-America certificates during her Hoosier career, the most in school history, and was the 2007 Indiana University Female Athlete of the Year.
Leila won the 100m backstroke at the US National Championships in 2006, earning a spot at the Pan Pacific Championships in Victoria, British Columbia. After turning in the second-fastest time in the nation, she also earned a spot on the U.S. World Championship Team.
At the 2007 World Aquatics Championships held in Melbourne, Leila won a gold medal in the 50 meter backstroke and earned a silver medal by swimming the 100 back in the heats of the 4×100 meter medley relay. Going into the final of the 50 m backstroke, Leila was the clear favorite for gold. In the heats of the 50 m backstroke, Leila broke Natalie Coughlin’s Championship record of 28.30 with a time of 28.25 establishing a new American Record. In the semifinals of the 50 m backstroke, she broke Janine Pietsch’s world record of 28.19 with a time of 28.16. In the final of the 50 m backstroke, she equalled her own world record en route to winning gold.
Leila also placed seventh in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.