Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa.) finished third in the 400m free in 4:01.92, behind American Katie Ledecky, who broke the world record in 3:56.46, and Jazz Carlin (4:01.23) of Great Britain.
Smith becomes the sixth Cavalier swimmer to earn an Olympic medal and the third to earn an individual medal, joining Wendy Weinberg (bronze in the women’s 800m free in 1976) and Ed Moses (silver in the men’s 100m breaststroke in 2000).
The Rio Olympics are not Smith’s first international experience. Smith was part of the gold-medal winning American 4x200m free relay at the 2015 FINA World Championships and 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. She was also part of the winning relay, and captured the 400m free, at the 2015 World University Games.
For Virginia, Smith is a four-time NCAA Champion, winning the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle events in both 2015 and 2016. She is an 11-time All-American and 10-time ACC Champion.
Smith is scheduled to compete with the American 4x200m freestyle relay on Wednesday (Aug. 10) and in the 800m freestyle prelims on Thursday (Aug. 11).