Tampa swimmer qualifies for Olympic Trials


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – “Swimming has given me a lot of things that I never expected to have,” said Brendan Driscoll. “Traveling around the country and meeting a lot of people from different parts of the world, a lot of different people around the area.”

The sport has also given the 18-year-old graduate from Jesuit High School an avenue to travel to the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, next year.

“It is still really surreal,” Driscoll told 8 On Your Side’s Gabrielle Shirley. “Four years ago I would have never expected to be here so it is really exciting.”

He qualified to race in two freestyle events at a meet in August.

“I was super excited. This is what everyone in swimming trains for,” he said. “This is like our playoffs for the Super Bowl, which is the Olympics, so it is really exciting that all of the hard work has finally paid off.”

Did Driscoll know he achieved the first qualifying time as soon as he touched the wall? He said, “No!” However, his coach, Julia, provided him with a clue.

“I did not really know how the race was going. It did not feel super great so I did not know if I was going to be near it or not,” Driscoll said. “I saw Julia pretty excited on the side of the pool so I figured I was somewhat close to it and, then, turning around seeing the board, a little bit of a delayed reaction, I could not really see it but, once I saw that I got it, I was really excited.”

Driscoll’s mother and sister were sitting in the stands while his father was watching the race from home.

Brendan smiles with his dad, mom and sister.

The accomplishments are still shocking to Driscoll.

“Four years ago, when I just missed the Olympic Trials, it was something I wanted to make sure that I was at in 2020 so that was really a point where I was like, ‘I can do this and get there,’” he said.

Driscoll is currently a student at Duke University. He plans to swim for the school as well as train for the upcoming Olympic Trials.

If you are aware of a local athlete, coach, or team with a special story, I want to tell it. You can reach me at my email address, gshirley@wfla.com.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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