Making the Olympics - For Dummies
When I first got into competitive swimming I always wondered how to make the Olympic team. The most logical way I though was just that the people with the fastest current times are put on the team. However this is not quite how it works. Making the team involves a long and complicated process that makes it so only the finest American athletes represent the U.S. at the Olympics games.
1. Get Good at Swimming
The first step to becoming an Olympian is simply to become good at the sport. Although this might seem like an obvious step its also the most crucial. Joining a USA Swimming approved team and swimming at USA swimming registered meets makes your times credible.
2. Get The Olympic Trials Cut
The next step to making the team is to get an Olympic trials cut. These are time standards that a swimmer must go at a USA Swimming sanctioned long course meters meet to be allowed to swim at the Olympic trials meet. Only the fastest and most elite swimmers in the nation will ever go times fast enough to qualify for this meet.
3. Make the Olympic Trials Finals
After you qualify for the trials you swim the the preliminary session and have to beat out the competition. Only the top 8 fastest swimmers in every event make the finals.
4. Place in the top 2 spots
Once you make the finals session you either have to get first or second place in an event in order to make the Olympic team. Extra swimmers in the 50s and 100s are taken for relays however the team is only allowed to bring 52 swimmers (26 men and 26 women).
5. Swim in the Olympics
Although you already made the team, to be considered an Olympian you actually have to compete in the games. Best of luck- Go make the country proud.
Fun Fact: Michael Phelps has won 28 Olympic medals over a span of 5 Olympic games. 23 of these medals are gold.