Excitement, Grief Track Carson Foster to Paris, Jake Foster to Med School

Carson Foster of United States of America, Jake Foster of United States of America prepare to compete in the 400m Individual Medley Men Final during the FINA Swimming Short Course World Championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in Melbourne, Australia, December 17th, 2022. Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Carson Foster, left, and Jake Foster at 2022 World Short Course Championships; Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Excitement, Grief Track Carson Foster to Paris, Jake Foster to Med School

Carson Foster has long characterized his journey in swimming through the lens of his siblings. For most of his growth in the sport, Hannah Foster and Jake Foster were alongside him.

Now Carson is the last Foster standing, with Jake announcing his retirement after completing his events at U.S. Olympic Trials. Even as Carson reaches the pinnacle of his career in an Olympic berth in Paris, he allowed himself to feel acutely what that end of an era this week means.

“Two nights ago, it was an incredibly emotional night for my entire family,” Carson said after winning the 200 individual medley on Friday. “I think obviously with Jake being so close (in age) and for multiple years now of making the international team and just grieving with him over not reaching his goal for this meet. But then also just that was it for his career, which is hard for me because it started with me, my brother and my sister in this sport. So from this meet on, it’s going to be just me.”

Carson has talked throughout this meet about what having his brother near has meant. The Cincinnati natives have been teammates at the University of Texas. In 2022, they ended up on the same international delegation to the 2022 World Short-Course Championships in Melbourne, Australia.

In 2021, Carson finished third at Olympic Trials in the 400 IM, passed on the final lap by Jay Litherland for the second berth in Tokyo. While the world’s best swam in Tokyo, Foster dropped a time in Speedo Sectionals in Austin that was quicker than the gold-medal time at the Games.

It made for a pointed pain that Carson Foster had to deal overcome, and he’s advocated throughout this meet about the importance of mental skills training. But his devastation in Omaha three years ago didn’t fully register until he saw it reflected in Jake’s eyes.

The same was true Monday when he won the 400 IM, his exultation shared with Jake.

“I remember in 2021, I didn’t cry,” Carson said. “I don’t know if I was a little bit numb to the emotion just because you feel so much when you get third and when you have disappointment. But I didn’t really have any emotion crying-wise after 2021. I remember after my third event, which is my last one, the only person that cried was Jake, and he cried for me. …

“Jake has been my biggest supporter through — ever since we became competitive at this level, along with my sister, Hannah, who supports us from afar, and even though she’s not swimming any more. The hug with Jake tonight was incredible, and yeah, it almost feels like we’re connected when we swim. I get just as nervous for him, for his races. I get just as excited for him, for his races.”

Jake Foster is off to Dell Medical School in Austin, with classes starting Monday. Carson Foster said his brother won’t be in Paris, but that Jake will be relishing med school.

Carson is adamant that he wouldn’t be where he was if it wasn’t for his big brother. And he’s eager to watch him in his next journey, even if the process of accepting that their paths diverge isn’t the easiest.

“Definitely a super emotional night the other night, and I think still probably this next week, but I could not be more excited,” Carson said. “He sent me his schedule for med school on Monday, and he was setting up his monitor and his laptop and everything back at home. So that made me real really excited for him. I’m excited to get back to Austin so celebrate the end of his career but also this very exciting new journey of him becoming a doctor.”

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Isabelle Fraser
Isabelle Fraser
1 day ago

Two incredibly talented boys.

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