Maritza Correia was the first African-American (with Puerto Rican heritage) swimmer from the United States to set an American and world swimming record in the Olympics. Nicknamed the “Ritz,” Correia was diagnosed with scoliosis in 1988. At the suggestion of her physician, she began swimming at age 8 and never left the pool.
In high school, Correia was a six-time Florida high school champion in five different events. The University of Georgia graduate was a 27-time All-American athlete and part of the Lady Bulldogs swim team.