Calypso Sheridan Has Name, Speed To Remember

Photo Courtesy: Walt Middleton Photography 2018

Calypso Sheridan is no ordinary swimmer.

It only takes looking at her name to figure that one out. The name Calypso comes from Greek mythology and means to hide or deceive.

It is a fitting name for a swimmer who came from Australia to the U.S. to study at Northwestern. Her speed has been deceptive and has snuck up on the competition for nearly two years.

Now, heading into the Big Ten Championships this week at Indiana, she can’t sneak up on the competition anymore. She is second in the Big Ten in the 200 breast (2:08.03) only behind Olympic champion Lilly King — and fourth in the country during the regular season.

Her name isn’t a hidden anymore.

“My parents have really normal names — Thomas and Helen. My mom was really into ancient mythology. I think it is pretty awesome,” Sheridan told Swimming World. “When we get caps in Australia, we get last names, but I always asked for my first name on the cap. People thought Sheridan was my first name.”

She has found out just how rare her name is, even though many people have heard of Calypso from Homer’s Odyssey.

“I have only every seen one other Calypso. It was in a store and someone said it, I turned around and they were talking to their daughter,” she said. “It is pretty awesome.”


Photo Courtesy: Colin Boyle

It set the tone for a young Aussie to blaze her own trail.

“I am energetic and a little bit daring,” she said. That was proven by her traveling all the way from Queensland, Australia, to attend school at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

“It was a really big change in terms of swimming,” she said. “In Australia, the expectations are different. Everything is on you in Australia. In America, you do it for your school and for your team, which I definitely think helps me through practice. I am not just doing this for myself.

“Swimming and academics is combined here. In Australia, I spent a lot of my time commuting between my home, swimming and classes, which took a whole chunk out of the day. Having that all together is incredible.”

It is still an ongoing adjustment.

“I actually love yards. I don’t like long-course meters. I love turns and underwaters. I absolutely love swimming underwater. My coach always wants me to come up earlier, but I love being under water,” she said. “The training has completely changed. We are doing more in the weight room, which I love. I prefer to do power and technique work in the pool and a significant portion of cardio outside the pool, which keeps things interesting.”

That adjustment goes for out of the pool as well.

“I saw snow for the first time. Last year was pretty cold and slushy and this year it has been really beautiful. Besides people not understanding everything I say, being here is like stretching out an Australian city. It is a little more spread out,” she said. “I left Australia because I didn’t know what I wanted to study. I wanted to focus on academics and have a successful career after swimming. I looked at Northwestern. I was really excited by the new facility they were building. In Australia, you enter a degree, where as in America you pick the school. I started with engineering and now I am studying computer science and I love it.

“I like how there is an answer. You can see what you create come to life on the screen. There is a definitive end result.”

Kind of like swimming, and Sheridan is looking forward to what this season’s end result could look like.

“I think my season has gone exponentially better than last year, getting used to America and the expectations,” she said. “I got my NCAA time at ACC Big Ten challenge. I didn’t have to worry about reaching the NCAA time.”

Sheridan reached the NCAA championships last year and was joined by one teammate, diver Olivia Rosendahl.

“Last year, I made one final at Big Tens. I definitely would like to see myself up there in the top eight. I can definitely be a little more competitive. I would love to get some points this year at NCAAs instead of Olivia getting all the points. She placed 21st all by herself, which was pretty cool. I feel like I am there to compete and race and get some points.

“It was just me and Olivia last year. It didn’t feel like a college swim meet for me, it felt like a meet in Australia. It was very different from Big Tens. I love having all of my teammates around. I am really excited about our medley relays. We have one freshman on the relays and we are close to “B” cut in the 400 medley relay and close to the “A” cut in the 200 medley relay.”

The 2018 Big Ten Conference Women's Swimming and Diving championships hosted by the Ohio State university at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. February 16, 2018

Photo Courtesy: Walt Middleton Photography 2018

Sheridan is looking ahead to 2020 in her swimming career, but not quite the same way that most swimmers are looking at it.

“I would like to have a go for the 2020 trials. But because I really love short course, I am looking toward 2020 Short Course Worlds. That would be pretty amazing. The future is pretty open to anything. I am pretty excited about it.”


Photo Courtesy: Northwestern Athletics

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Jennifer Parks
3 years ago

And she’ll have Lola Mull for a teammate, soon!

3 years ago

Calypso, I was given this link by your dad, I am one of his clients. I have an 11 year old granddaughter who is climbing the swimming ladder and I show her your write-ups, hoping to inspire her. I think what you are doing is totally awesome & i wish you all the success you deserve, for being so brave & focused. All the best.
Kerrie Patton, Buderim, Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Australia.

3 years ago

But her “dad” always opposed her swimming and has NEVER supported financially or emotionally either of his daughters
Not surprised to hear that he is using her to promote his business
Please be respectful of those that have supported me and my girls for the last 20 years
Not surprised to hear he would take credit
So Proud of Calypso not responding
Kerri if you have granddaughters you should understand