Dana Vollmer Swims For Final Time: ‘It Was a Special Moment’ (VIDEO)

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Dana Vollmer looks at the scoreboard after her final race. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

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Dana Vollmer stepped up to the blocks for the 100 butterfly and took a deep breath.

It is something she has done a thousand times before, but this time, it was different. It was the final time.

Vollmer announced earlier this week that she would retire following the 100-meter butterfly at the 2019 Phillips 66 US National Championships at Stanford.

“A lot was going through my mind. I wanted to dive in and enjoy the water, and enjoy swimming the butterfly,” Vollmer told Swimming World. “I wanted that piece of myself that fights at the end. I am at peace with that swim. I am really happy with it, and I am a swammer.

“I really wanted to know it was my last swim. There are things you take for granted because of nerves. I wanted to remember those nerves. Being able to walk up on those blocks and know that is your last one — it was a really special moment.”

Vollmer has had plenty of special moments in her career, including winning three gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics. All of those moments came rushing back when Vollmer touched the wall and exited the pool of competitive swimming for the last time.

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Dana Vollmer; Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

She went over to coach Teri McKeever and her teammates and shared that special moment.

“That is what I wanted. To just be with the girls on deck,” Vollmer said. “That is what is going to make me emotional — the team and all of the support I have had from them for so many years. I have been with Teri for 12 years now. To go from being a freshman and not making the 2008 Olympics to working so hard with her on my mental strength and win three golds in London — her and I have been through so much. The community that we have is a huge part of my support system. I hope the girls at Cal know that I am not going anywhere and how much I love them.”

Vollmer finished 32nd in 59.94. She still holds the American record in the event in 55.98, set in London.

“I really just wanted to be under a minute to be honest — and just take it all in,” she said.

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Dana Vollmer; Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

Vollmer has had plenty of time to consider retirement after giving birth to two children, but each time has come back to swimming, even swimming while pregnant.

“Having two little ones and a family that supports me with all their hearts, made me that much stronger going into swimming. I hope that other moms look at their families, know how loved they are and go out and take risks and chase after their dreams,” she said. “It is incredibly important for moms to know what we are capable of. We are capable of so much. This whole time, it wasn’t a mission to prove moms could come back. I had an amazing support system that never questioned whether I would come back. It was just a given.”

But in the end, the time was right this week.

“I have taken a lot of time since 2016 trying to figure out what my priorities are, what I am looking for in life. I have searched a lot of different areas and I am really satisfied with what I have done in the sport,” she said. “USA Swimming is so incredibly competitive. To get on that team, you have to want it with your entire heart. I kept finding that I wanted to be doing other things and pursuing new dreams. It finally set in that I was ready to start fresh. I am not sad. I am going to miss the people and the meets.

“I want my legacy to be that everything that gets thrown at you — you have the ability to get past it, to succeed.”

It is something Vollmer has proved time and time again on the world’s biggest stage, and it is indeed her legacy.

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Dana Vollmer; Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

11 comments

  1. Judy Arroyo

    Thanks for being such a role model for female swimmers & young swimming mothers.
    Go Bears 🐻

  2. Craig Welday

    anytime you do something for the last time is a tough one…good job, thanks

  3. Kathy Allman

    Most certain she has taught those two babies so much about drive, determination, goals….graceful and classy “swammer”….🇺🇸

  4. Roque Magallanes

    The pride of Granbury, Tx.
    Well done Dana, well done 👍

  5. Paul Brown

    You go girl!!! Enjoy your new adventures in life:) definitely will be missed watching you compete but definitely understand. God bless you and your family.

  6. avatar
    Anonymous

    What an inspiration for the world of female swimmers – one of a kind, unique special and encouraging ! Thank you Dana Vollmer !

    • avatar
      Loan & Scot

      she is so special, sweet, kind and very humble person. Yes, one of a kind.

  7. avatar
    Craig Hall

    I hope you come home to Granbury for a visit soon. My family has really enjoyed watching your career unfold and getting to meet you after the parade in your honor.
    Craig Hall