TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Jeremy Parker, 22, talks about swimming like it’s no big deal. He didn’t even start until his sophomore year in high school.
“I had no experience at all when I started,” Parker said. “Then I decided to swim for college at the University of Tampa and then I qualified for the Olympic trials.”
He makes it sound easy but in reality, Parker now practices about 20 hours a week. Parker’s dad qualified for the 1980 Moscow Olympics but didn’t get the chance to go because the US boycotted the games that year to protest the Soviet Union invading Afghanistan. Parker now describes his father as his “main motivator.”
Along with Parker, 16-year-old Plant High School student Morgan Tankersley will compete in the Olympic trials.
“After I watched the 2012 Olympics and trials, I said I definitely want to be there but I wasn’t good enough at that point,” Tankersley said. “A little over a year ago I had it in the back of my mind and then when I made my first cut I was really happy.”
Tankersley swims six days a week for two hours. She also does “dry land” workouts like weight training. On top of all that, she has her regular school work. The teen credits “really good time management” for her success.
“I was talking to one of my friends and she told me she thought of the Olympics as something you watch on TV and not something someone goes to,” Tankersley said. “It’s humbling and awesome I can be part of such a great thing.”
The trials are in Omaha, Nebraska from June 26 – July 3, 2016.WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON RIGHT NOW:
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