TOKYO (KLAS) — A local swim club is overwhelmed with pride as they watched one of their own snag a silver medal in Tokyo. Not one, but five of their athletes have the eyes of the world on them in Tokyo.
Cheers erupted as Las Vegas swimmer Erica Sullivan snagged her silver medal in the women’s 1500-meter freestyle swim Wednesday.
“To see her follow the race not going too hard and chasing everyone down, that’s kind of what we are known for its something we will remember forever,” said Thomas Farrell, coach of the Sandpipers of Nevada.
Farrell tells 8 News Now Sullivan and the rest of her teammates continued to train for the Toyko Olympics even though it was canceled last year.
“We were working until the Olympics were officially shut down going into 2020 we had to keep training as if they were going on,” Farrell said.
Sullivan isn’t the only one from Las Vegas splashing into the Olympic pool in Tokyo. Katie Grimes, Bella Sims, Bowen Becker and Blake Pieroni are avid swimmers with the Sandpipers of Nevada Swim Club.
“They are just these happy kids on a pool deck, they swim well, and they keep working hard and swim incredibly fast,” Farrell said. “It’s been long hours on and off the pool to see them accomplish their goals and the only word that comes to mind is emotional”
Hundreds of hours were put into the pool and the strength training room for these Olympic swimmers, but the task of bringing home the gold can creep up on you, as we saw with gymnast Simone Biles.
“Even when they were young and swimming local meets and they were swimming fast and everyone is paying attention to them, and now, they are on a global international level and there’s social media and regular media that can eat away at you for sure,” Farrell said.
He says if his athletes were to drop out of the Olympics due to the pressure, he would support it.