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HomeSports17-Year-Old Katie Grimes Emerges as U.S. Swimming's Rising Star With Two Olympic...

17-Year-Old Katie Grimes Emerges as U.S. Swimming’s Rising Star With Two Olympic Appearances


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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — With their 12-year-old daughter, Katie, swimming close by, Shari and Christian Grimes stood on the pool deck speaking to Sandpipers of Nevada coach Chris Barber. Christian had simply been supplied the deputy hearth chief job in Logan, Utah, and the household was contemplating transferring there from their house in Las Vegas.

Barber is an effective listener with a peaceful head, Shari says, and the Grimes household trusts him. So she didn’t take his phrases that day flippantly. Barber began by saying that Katie might transfer anyplace and earn a university swimming scholarship.

“But I’m telling you proper now,” he continued, “there’s something completely different about her. And for those who depart her right here, she might be an Olympian.”

Shortly after, Ron Aitken, the Sandpipers CEO who coaches the crew’s prime swimmers, heard what the household was contemplating. He reached out to make a pact: If they stayed in Nevada, he promised he’d stay with Sandpipers no less than till Katie graduated highschool.

The coaches’ responses have been telling. Katie was a particular expertise with extra potential than her dad and mom had realized as much as that time. So Shari and Christian listened. The household stayed put.

Five years later, Grimes is likely one of the most promising swimmers within the U.S. She already made Barber look prophetic, making the Olympics as a 15-year-old in 2021, and has since received three silver medals in pool occasions on the World Aquatics Championships. She’s additionally a world-class open-water swimmer and has already certified for the 2024 Paris Olympics within the 10-kilometer race after taking bronze on the 2023 world championships, making her the primary American athlete to safe a spot in France.

“Knowing that I’m already going to Paris is just a little bit comforting, however I nonetheless actually need to make it within the pool,” stated Grimes, now 17. “I really feel like I nonetheless have quite a bit to do.”

Grimes is rarely glad, her mother says. Shari believes there are occasions Katie must rejoice her accomplishments greater than she does. But that unrelenting starvation is maybe what regularly propels {the teenager} to new heights.

Katie, who’s homeschooled and the youngest of seven children, spent just a little over three weeks this fall on the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Shari chaperoned for a part of the journey, and she or he stopped by the pool each now and again throughout practices. She discovered herself getting emotional seeing how exhausting her daughter and the opposite swimmers work and the way a lot they sacrifice for a shot at their targets.

“But I additionally do imagine that there’s even greater greatness inside her that hasn’t damaged out but, and I’m excited for that,” Shari stated. “Because each time we present up someplace, that woman actually amazes us with one thing completely out of the blue that we weren’t anticipating.”

When Katie was round 3, a Sandpipers coach seen her older brother Carter on the YMCA pool. Carter had been a gymnast till he grew too tall, and he appeared good within the water, so the coach approached Shari to ask if the household could be all in favour of becoming a member of the swim membership. Carter tried it and excelled, finally swimming on the University of Missouri.

From that second on, “Katie just about grew up on the pool deck,” stated Shari, who had a 12-passenger van due to her huge household and steadily drove Sandpipers swimmers to and from apply. The younger Katie was her carpool pal, sitting in her automotive seat within the again.

“She liked being across the swimmers,” Shari stated. “It was simply sort of a pure development for her to begin swimming when she acquired to that age.”

As she emerged as an elite swimmer, Grimes made it her purpose to make the 2024 Olympics in Paris. She wouldn’t have been a contender to make the Tokyo Olympics as a 14-year-old had they been held in 2020, as initially scheduled. But when these Games acquired delayed a yr due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it modified Grimes’ outlook. Her confidence was excessive, and part of her puzzled if she might make the crew.


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