EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – With the Tokyo Olympics being moved to next summer, everyone will be one year older. For one swimmer, in particular, that extra year means she will be making history.
There are 64 U.S. athletes who have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, and Ashley Twichell is one of them.
“I’m used to taking breaks from swimming, but not ones that are out of my control, and when I don’t have any idea when I will be able to get back into a pool,” said Twichell.
Certainly, before she gets into the Olympic pool in Japan, but when that happens, Twichell will be 32 years old. The oldest Olympic rookie swimmer since 1908.
“I’m in full support of the decisions made and I’m glad that our global community’s health and safety have been made the No. 1 priority. But at the same time, definitely disappointed. I have been working really hard and for a really long time to go to the Olympics,” said Twichell.
Ashley Twichell first tried qualifying for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and then 2012 in London, and 2016 in Rio.
Despite being an all-American in both high school and college, and winning five world championship medals, Twichell failed to qualify all three times. However, this time she succeeded.
“When you’re working towards something so specific and you’ve had something in mind for so long, obviously the Olympics is only every four years so to have it pushed back a year, that’s really hard. And so, yeah just been checking in with people, grateful for the people who have checked in on me. Just trying to make the best of it and know we are all in this together and we’ll come out of it stronger,” said Twichell.
Twichell will be competing in open-water swimming in Tokyo. This is the only swimming event in which the U.S. has never won a gold medal.