One of youngest Olympic swimmers will now be in college as he sets eyes on Tokyo

Japan 2020

TAMPA (WFLA) — Had the 2020 Olympic Games not been postponed, Luca Urlando would have been the first high-schooler on Team USA since Michael Phelps.

Now with the postponement of the games, 18-year-old Urlando will have to wait until 2021 to find out if he will become the next big name in Olympic history.

“He’s our best hope in 2021 for winning a medal in the 200 butterfly,” Billy Doughty, Luca’s swim coach.

Urlando is now a freshman at the University of Georgia and he is taking the postponement in stride, calling it a blessing in disguise.

“It gives me a whole other year to train in a college setting too which is exactly what I think I need,” Urlando said.

Urlando’s record is impressive. In 2019 he became the top 200 meter butterflyer in the country, even breaking Michael Phelps’ long-standing record.

Urlando currently holds the third best time in the world in the 200 fly.

“He was 3rd in the world last year, so he’s already in that hunt to be in that bronze, silver medal range if things go as planned,” said Doughty.

Besides school and training for Tokyo, Urlando is rehabbing a shoulder injury so he can be in tip top shape.

“I think regaining strength in my shoulder will, I think that will be the first step in being completely ready for the olympics,” said Urlando.

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