The 2012 Olympic Trials have just concluded and they were everything and more! I will be going to the London Olympic games for the 200 Free, 4×100 Free relay, and 4×200 Free relay.
My goal going into this meet was to qualify for both relays and an individual event. By placing 3rd in the 200 free and 4th in the 100 free, I accomplished half of my goals. It wasn’t until the last day of competition that I had learned that Michael Phelps was scratching the 200 Free from his Olympic lineup, and I would be taking his spot! It was a crazy/exciting day for my, learning that I was swimming an individual event through Twitter.
First up, the 200 Free. My prelims swim was a very sluggish swim and I gotta say that I was pretty nervous after that swim. I know I was going to make it back top 16, but it hurt a lot more than I had expected. The first swim of a meet is always the hardest. After the semis swim, where I went a second and half faster than prelims, I knew I had more in the tank. Adrenaline kicked in before the finals race, allowing me to take the race out much faster than I thought I could but also doing it very smoothly. A slow 3rd 50 put me a little behind and I knew the last 50 I was going to have to make up some ground. After a good kickout, I just started swinging my arms as fast as I could. I was pretty numb going into the last lap and had no idea what to expect, I was just trying to get my hand on that wall as fast as possible! Looking up and seeing a 3rd place finish was a huge surprise, and all the pain of the race was immediately gone and I was ecstatic.
The 100 free was a little different than the 200. I was much more relaxed. After qualifying for the 200 free, the pressure was off to make the team. It also didn’t hurt that it was half the distance. The hardest part for me in the 100 free is to get out fast. I believe I was last at the 50 mark in every single heat that I swam in, but was always the fastest coming home. I still have a lot of work to do in the race, but that is why we have training camp. I am extremely excited to be a part of this relay and am going to do everything I can to help USA repeat a gold medal. This is probably the toughest relay for the U.S., with a number of international squads seeded faster than us.
A note on me being scratched into the 200 Free individual race. Coach Bowman and Michael have given me a huge opportunity and I am honored to be representing the U.S. in an individual race. I have some HUGE shoes to fill and I know that, but I am extremely excited to be in this position. I am going to make the most of this race. To be representing my country in an individual race is a dream come true! I thank you guys for all of your messages and support throughout this meet, I read through a number of emails and tweets and I can’t describe how much that helps during races.
Here are some of my post race interviews on some more thoughts.