Local Olympian: Youngest member of Team USA looks to make waves in Tokyo

Local Sports

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The 2021 Olympic pool has a big splash of personality thanks to the pride of Las Vegas, Nevada and Team USA.

Katie Grimes is a swimming sensation captivating fans of all ages, especially in her hometown.

“Seeing people with their last name on their cap. I want that! I want that so bad,” Grime said. “And now it’s finally here and it’s so humbling. I’m so proud.”

Katie Ledecky congratulates Katie Grimes after the women’s 800 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Saturday, June 19, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

She’s 15 and phenomenal.

Katie Grimes is the youngest member of Team USA. She’s captured the country’s admiration and the imagination of young girls with Olympic dreams. She also has the endorsement of the other Katie — the five-time gold medalist.

“I mean we are on two different paths, but it’s exactly what she did,” Grimes said of Katie Ledecky. “Same Event. Same age. That’s probably why it’s getting so much attention.”

Katie Ledecky and Katie Grimes on the podium at the medal ceremony for the women’s 800 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Saturday, June 19, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Grimes is one of three Las Vegans from the Sandpipers of Nevada Swim Club touching the wall in Tokyo. Their work ethic is unmatched, which included marathon swims in Lake Mead during the teeth of the pandemic.

“I love when my muscles are in pain, because I know I just got better,” Grimes said. “I know when he says ‘set’, the best revenge is to make it look easy. So, I’m like ‘let’s get this.'”

The Grimes grind goes global for the first time in her life. It’s just the biggest stage in the world — no big deal.

“I feel like I’m going to get there and it’s going to be deer in the headlights pretty much,” Grimes said. “I think just to stay calm, relax, have fun, embrace it, and it’s going to be a really good time.”

With every stroke, her stardom grows. We don’t know where Katie will go, but we know where she’s from.

“It’s Vegas. It’s where we live. It’s our home. I’m so proud to represent it.”

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