Junior Grace Olsen’s life as a swimmer


Halee Alexander, Writer

Junior Grace Olsen holds all of the girls varsity swimming records and is close to all of the girls pool records. She is working on getting the 100 yard freestyle and 100 yard breaststroke. 

“I remember taking swim lessons at just four years old,” Olsen said. “I started my swim career taking lessons at the high school, with Ryan Bowls, watching all of the older kids and striving to be like them.” 

From a young age Olsen has been watching the people around her, waiting for her time to be able to swim “like the big kids” on the high school and club teams.

“I first realized that Grace had a special connection with water when she was just a baby— she was fascinated by it,” Coach [and Grace Olsen’s mom] Stephanie Olsen said. “But I knew for sure that she was going to be something special in the sport by her first championship meet. She had the drive and the ability to go places.”

“I started competing competitively at age seven, and had my first qualifying championship meet at age eight,” Olsen said “I swam the 100 yard butterfly and the 200 yard freestyle.” 

Olsen isn’t the only swimmer in her family. “Everyone on my mom’s side of the family swam, so it’s kind of in my blood. My mom was on her way to swim D2 at the college level when she injured her shoulder and ended her swim career.” 

“I’ve known Grace most of her life,” Swim coach Brad Jones said. “What makes her so special and sets her apart is her dedication and attention to detail.”

“My ultimate goal has always been the Olympics,” Olsen said. “This year I am hoping to make Olympic trials in my 100 yard freestyle. I need to drop about a second and a half.”

Grace’s next competition is in Elkhart, Indiana; on Feb. 26, 27, and 28.