Open Water Olympian Ashley Twichell Expecting First Child

Ashley Twichell -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Open Water Olympian Ashley Twichell Expecting First Child

Less than four months after she competed in her first and only Olympics, Ashley Twichell has announced that she is expecting her first child. Twichell, 32, posted to Instagram a series of photos where she, husband Derek Wall and their dog are all posing on a North Carolina beach. In the photos, Twichell and Wall are holding ultrasound photos, while the dog wears a bandana that reads “Big Bro.”

Several members of the U.S. Olympic team commented on the post in support of Twichell, including her longtime open water teammates Haley Anderson and Erica Sullivan.

Twichell made her debut at the Olympic Games this year in Tokyo, finishing seventh in the women’s 10K open water race after qualifying for the Games with her top-10 finish at the 2019 World Championships. In Tokyo, Twichell became the oldest female swimmer to make her Olympic debut for the United States since 1908, and in that 10K race, she was in contention for much of the distance before she finished about seven seconds off gold-medal pace and about 5.5 seconds outside of the medals.

During her swimming career, Twichell earned two World Championships gold medals, first in the team event at the 2011 meet and then a second world title in the 5K in 2017. Twichell also won three other medals at World Championships over the course of her career, and she was the 10K gold medalist at the 2013 World University Games. In the pool, she won silver medals in the 800 free at the 2011 Pan American Games and the 2016 Short Course World Championships, and at her final Olympic Trials in 2021, she finished fifth in the 1500 free. Prior to beginning her career in open water, Twichell was a standout swimmer at Duke University from 2007 to 2011.