Fort Myers High School swimmer qualifies for 2020 Olympic Trials
Stroke by stroke, a Fort Myers High School junior swims toward her dream.
Olivia McMurray’s hard work paid off when she qualified for five different swimming events in the 2020 Olympic Trials.
“I’d really like to one day be in the Olympics, compete at the NCAA level and get the opportunity to swim pro one day,” McMurray said. “That’s my dream.”
McMurray was in the pool by the time she was 4 years old, and this summer the 16-year-old spends about 18 hours each week training toward her goals, working with Swim Florida coaches like Rob Pellicer.
“I really enjoy working with kids like Olivia,” Pellicer said. “She definitely stands out as one that’s very dedicated, always upbeat, always positive.”
McMurray is currently qualified for the 200 freestyle, the 400 freestyle, the 800 freestyle, the mile, which she said is a 1500 and the 400 I-M, which she said is every stroke in one race.
“Swimming just kind of shaped my overall character,” McMurray said. “It’s just a really good way to features and everything, and it’s made me a better person overall, perseverance and stuff like that.”
She said she hopes to follow in the footsteps of Olympic icons like Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky. First, she wants to repeat her state championships representing the Green Wave.
“I love being at a meet and seeing all your hard work has paid off once you touch the wall, and having a great time,” McMurray said. “I absolutely love it.”
As she prepares to compete in the U.S. National Championships this week, McMurray offered advice to aspiring athletes.
“I’d just say no goal is too extreme,” McMurray said. “Just reach for the stars, and do what you want to do. Anything is possible.”
For more information about the upcoming trials, visit the USA Swimming website.