The SwimLight: How Superstitions Guide the Race Approaches of Several Elite Swimmers

Torri Huske

The SwimLight: How Superstitions Guide the Actions of Several Elite Swimmers

In the world of competitive swimming, swimmers navigate the waters of the pool and a sea of superstitions, seeking that specific advantage that may tip the scales in their favor. Uncover the superstitions from former Swim Light features Gabi Albiero, Grant House, and Torri Huske that guide their actions before a race and express their distinctive approach to the pre-race routine.

SwimLight – Gabi Albiero

SwimLight – Grant House

SwimLight – Torri Huske

Gabi Albiero


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Gabi Albiero, a senior at Louisville, shares insights into her race days, saying they are more routine than superstition-based. However, Alberio highlighted a small, yet meaningful detail that can be found in her pre-race habits: “Before racing, I like to have my goggles twisted quite a few times.” 

In defiance of her well-intentioned efforts to fix her twisted goggles, Albiero says she prefers them that way. Additionally, Albiero shed light on a pre-race dance with a song she shares with her Louisville teammates. 

“We all squat down low in a circle and get higher as the song builds until the beat drops, and we mosh pit,” Albiero said. 

The Louisville team tradition holds significance for Albiero, serving as a lighthearted yet intentional means of switching into race mode with a relaxed mindset. Through these practices, Albiero knows she can generate focus and readiness for swim meets.

“It’s a silly little thing we’ve started, but it always gets me in race mode and loosened up,” Albiero said.

Grant House

Grant House

Courtesy: Peter Bick

Pro swimmer Grant House has a different approach to pre-race superstitions. For House, the focus is on achieving balance and concentration, and he has a dedicated approach to achieving the right pre-race setting.

“While some athletes have specific rituals or superstitions, I’ve always approached my pre-race routine a bit differently,” House said. “Before races, I emphasize breathing exercises and meditation, which help me center my mind and calm my nerves.” 

Beyond these traditional practices, House adheres to a profoundly personal ritual by spending quality time with his family, acknowledging it crucial to filling his “mental, emotional, and spiritual cups in a way that nothing else can…Additionally, I am committed to constantly honing and refining my skills, listening attentively to my coaches, and maintaining a disciplined training regimen.” 

With family time and mental prep, Grant House builds a solid foundation for his pre-race routine. His preparation shows a balanced blend of physical and emotional readiness, going beyond usual superstitions and shaping his journey to success in competitive swimming.

Torri Huske

Olympian Torri Huske relies on several intriguing rituals that make up her pre-race routine.

“Something I don’t really like is sitting in chairs in ready rooms unless my legs are straight. I typically like sitting on the floor.” Huske said. 

This strong preference for staying loose gives us a peek into Huske’s priority of feeling physically comfortable before a race. It’s a crucial part of her preparation routine. Notably, she reserves the act of bending her legs for specific moments.

“I really don’t like sitting with my legs bent unless it’s a stretch before my race,” Huske said. 

In the world of top-level swimming, where small details matter, Huske provides an exciting look into the unique habits that help her perform at her best. As each race gets closer, Huske’s unique rituals show how she personalizes her pre-race routine.

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