Ashley Twichell Swims to Highest Finish at Olympic Trials

Ashley Twichell. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Ashley Twichell Swims to Highest Finish at Olympic Trials

Third place is the toughest place to finish at Olympic Trials, but Ashley Twichell isn’t looking at it the same way. Twichell, an open water Olympian, finished third in the 1500 final at trials.

“At the time, I thought it was my last race. I just wanted to enjoy it. The last two Olympic Trials that I finaled, I let the pressure get to me a little bit,” Ashley Twichell said. “So I was really proud of that swim. That is the highest I have ever placed at trials. I am enjoying it, so I decided to swim the 800.

“I wanted to make the most of this meet. I am not sure what is going to happen after this, or if I am done.”

Twichell made the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, then gave birth to her first child before returning to the water and earning gold at the Pan American Games a year after becoming a mother.

“The emotions were so great after making the Olympic team. The year before Tokyo was pretty tough for me. I had to put on hold starting a family, so that year felt really long for me,” she said. “I really didn’t know what it would look like after giving birth. I knew I wanted to stay in the water, but I didn’t know to what level. I found a really good rhythm with my husband. Really a few months ago, I decided to keep going and try for these Olympic Trials.

“It has been hard balancing being a mom, but it has been the most fulfilling two years of my life.”

Several veteran swimmers have either made comebacks for continued longer, following Twichell’s path.

“That is super cool for me to see,” she said. “After college for me, I wasn’t getting funded and it was a leap of faith. But it is so exciting to see people extending their careers and being able to do so. We have young swimmers that are doing so well, but also seeing the older swimmers still doing well.”

So Twichell hasn’t decided on her future just yet.

“For me, it is just reminding myself why I do it,” Twichell said. “I love the sport. I love swimming. I love training and pushing myself to be the best I can be.”

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