Young swimmers set sights on Olympic goals

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 8:29 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Whenever team USA hits the pool it brings a renewed enthusiasm for the sport, and more and more kids lining up to be part of area swim teams. That’s certainly the case in Kentucky and Indiana where many Olympic greats call home.

There was lots of excitement from hyped young swimmers, from Louisville Boat Club, to Hunting Creek, Audobon and beyond, who competed in City Meet.

“I want to show everyone that I can make the Olympics and I’m a really good swimmer,” swimmer James David York said.

The sport is summer fun that could evolve into something much more serious at places like Lakeside or Cardinal Aquatics.

“Swimming is a big part of the city of Louisville, Brooke Forde made the Olympic team and we’ve had so many Olympians come through the city of Louisville,” Owl Creek Country Club head swim coach Samantha Stallings said.

It’s why 9-year-old Holt Alexander can see himself swimming for Team USA one day.

“Yes, it is a goal. I want to get a gold in a 50-meter breast or an IM,” Holt said.

He just might do it. The Owl Creek Country Club swimmer qualified in three out of four races at City Meet, including breaststroke and freestyle. His family’s love for the water has them glued to Olympic competition.

“We watched a lot of the team trials,” he said. “Ryan Murphy or Lilly King are my favorite right now.”

Stallings says local Olympians are providing serious inspiration.

“I swam with Brook Forde, she’s much younger than I am, but I swam with her so seeing someone I swam with in the Olympics is a really cool experience also going from Sacred Heart to Stanford to the Olympics, how cool is that?”

Stallings said. Pros and amateurs alike consider swimming much more than just a sport.

“My doctors always say it saved your life,” Stallings said.

Stallings, who was a high school athlete, was born with a heart condition that ended all contact sports when she was 13.

Stallings said, “But I always looked at it, on the brightside as at least I have swimming, swimming has always been a constant in my life and you saw Holt he is a cancer survivor.”

Yep, Holt is 3 and a half years cancer-free. The pool where dreams are made is his sanctuary.

“The thing I love about swimming is when you’re out of the pool it’s so loud, but when you’re in the pool it’s all quiet and it’s amazing,” Holt said.

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