5 Things to Know About Olympic Sprinter Abbey Weitzeil

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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Editorial Coverage Sponsored By FINIS

 By Katie Willis, Swimming World College Intern

Abbey Weitzeil, 19, has managed to make an explosive debut into elite swimming in a short time. And after having won both the 50 and 100 freestyle at the Olympic Trials in Omaha just weeks ago, Weitzeil is Rio-bound.

Since her emergence into the sport, Weitzeil has stood out for her raw talent. Given how skilled she is, you would have never guessed that Abbey only started swimming seven years ago! At the age of 12, she joined the Canyons Aquatic Club where she really began to progress. Abbey had said that she always felt natural in the water but after pointed training, her swimming career went from 0 to 60 in a short duration.

Abbey praises her coach, Coley Stickels, for teaching her a lot of mental and physical skills in and out of the water. When Weitzeil finally set her mind on swimming, “that’s when I started to really reach my goals,” she said.

Many people will say her success has come primarily from her natural ability but Abbey likes to believe that “it comes down to heart.” While Weitzel’s feel for the water has played a large part in her success, her mental strength is just as important. After qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Trials and breaking the American record in the 100-yard freestyle, Abbey began to have confidence in the idea that she could one day represent the United States as an Olympian.

“Medaling in the Olympics would be amazing but making the Olympic team and getting to be a part of that, that’s what I want to do,” Weitzeil once said. And that’s precisely what she’ll get to do this summer in Rio. But there is much more to a swimmer than just their strengths in the water. Here are a few things to know about that fast individual behind the cap and goggles…

1. She loves her friends and family.

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Photo Courtesy: Abbey Weitzeil

Every swimmer has their own personal support system. Weitzeil brags about her close ties with her friends and family. She often snaps goofy pics and recalls eventful memories with her friends through her personal social media. In return, they’ve become the core of Abbey’s fanbase. They even threw a pre-Trials barbecue to send her off in style!

2. She’s an artist.

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Photo Courtesy: Abbey Weitzeil Instagram

Abbey seems to have many passions and one of them is art! Over the years Abbey has shared some of her art with the public on her personal social media. Her sketches and paintings feature realistic detail and creative concepts. She captions her doodle “what I do between practices.” Perhaps she’ll even go on to study art at the University of Californa when she attends in the fall.

3. She loves animals.

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Photo Courtesy: Abbey Weitzeil

Dogs or frogs, Abbey Weitzeil is a fan! Last week during a practice the Olympic team were paid a visit by this little frog. Weitzeil showcased the guy for everyone to see with a big smile. Abbey also owns a beloved golden retriever named Bensen (nicknamed B) who eagerly awaits her return home from Rio.

4. She loves to travel and explore.

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Photo Courtesy: Abbey Weitzeil Instagram

Abbey has a curious nature, perhaps it is her artistic character that fuels that interest in her surroundings. Abbey travels for swimming a lot, but when she’s not training she soaks in the scenery. She loves to visit beautiful landmarks and is always drawn to bodies of water. ” I will end up living by the beach someway somehow sometime,” she commented.

5. She aims to be a positive role model for the next generation.

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Photo Courtesy: Abbey Weitzeil

Abbey had her first fan interaction back in 2014, when a young girl asked for her signature in Australia. This moment felt surreal to Weitzeil, as it indicated there are and will be young swimmers who look up to and admire her as a swimmer. Abbey wants to do the best she can to set a good example and influence the coming generations in all the right ways.

We wish the best for Abbey in her first Olympic-sized endeavor and hope that there are many more to come!

5 comments

  1. avatar
    Dave Woodruff

    Never knew they referred to swimmers as sprinters.

    • avatar
      Kara Ballard

      yes, sprinters and long distance swimmers

  2. avatar
    Scott Jackson

    1. She’s fast. 2. Like really fast 3. Seriously, fast. 4. Faster than you, probably. 5. She’s like fasterest or something.

  3. avatar
    Leslie Mitchell

    6. She’s a California Golden Bear!

  4. avatar
    flutterby

    She seems to only swim the 50 and the 100. That sure sounds like a sprinter to me.