Fort Myers’ Olivia McMurray set to swim at Olympic Trials
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Come Sunday, Fort Myers High School graduate Olivia McMurray will be swimming in a pool much larger than the one she is used to practicing in at Cypress Lake High School.
That’s because two years after qualifying, McMurrary will finally get to swim in the U.S. Olympic Trials.
“It’s really surreal,” said Olivia. “It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of since I was a little age group swimmer at eight or nine (years old).”
Thursday, the eight-time Florida high school state champion and her coach, Rob Pellicer, head for the trials in Omaha, Nebraska before they try to beat the odds starting Sunday.
“Making the Olympic team has a .0125 percent chance but making the Olympic trials in her own right is an accomplishment,” said Pellicer.
Still, the gravity of the opportunity at hand is not lost on the 18-year-old. Olivia knows she’ll be swimming in the same pool, the same lanes as Olympic medalists and some of the fastest to put on a pair of goggles.
“They’re amazing swimmers, world record holders, Olympic champions. How could you not be excited to swim them?,” she said. “In my eyes, I have to be equal to them since I’m competing on the same level as them.”
Right now, McMurray is registered to compete in six events throughout the week-long trials. While Olivia says her goal is to advance to the semifinals or finals in at least one event, she also knows a trip to Tokyo is a long shot.
However, the Fort Myers grad knows the lessons she can learn over the week can insure that her first trip to the Olympic Trials won’t be her last.
“Having that experience under my belt and in three years when Paris comes around, I’ll be that much more prepared,” Olivia said.
The trials get started Sunday from Omaha and you can watch Olivia compete on NBC-2 Sunday night starting at 8:00pm.
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