Hey guys! Since swimming is a year-round sport, a ton of us are still here training for the summer. We are now a few weeks away from Olympic Trials and things are starting to slowly put themselves into place. We start taper soon, which is when we get to bring down the yardage we do and the amount of weights and running decreases. It is probably the happiest time of the year for swimmers because we are actually able to swim fast and recover easily, rather than being tired for every single practice. I am getting pretty nervous for Trials, but I know that we have all put in the work and the fact that the University of Florida will be one of the most represented teams at trials really excites me.
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the public relations staff at USA swimming, asking me if I would be interested in being a part of an Olympic preview segment on the Today Show. I was so shocked that something as big as the Today Show actually wanted me on their show. Luckily, it fit into my schedule and I was able to go. It was such an amazing experience. Growing up, I always remember watching the Today Show before school with my mom and wishing that one day I could have a job in television as an anchor of some sort. I still have that dream today and for me to be on the Today Show was very surreal.
They arranged all of my flights for me, set me up with a limo to pick me up from the airport, put me up in one of the nicest hotel rooms in NYC, and treated me like a queen once I got to the NBC studio. When I walked into the studio, I was escorted downstairs into the makeup and hair rooms. There were at least 10 stylists and counters full of makeup and curling irons and straighteners. In the room next to that was a buffet of really good food. There were croissants, bagels, fruit, yogurt – you name it, they had it.
Unfortunately, since I was getting in the water for my segment, I didn’t get the chance to get my hair done, but they did put some waterproof makeup on which made me feel a little better. Once we were ready to do the segment, we went outside to the plaza where they were going to do the interview. There, I met Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Ann Curry, and Matt Lauer. The opportunity to meet them was very cool because I grew up watching the Today Show and I admire all of the anchors. I was lucky enough to do the segment with fellow Olympian Brendan Hansen, who is one of my favorite people within the swimming world, and we had a blast.
The interview was short, but I definitely got a lot out of the entire experience and I met a ton of amazing people. It is crazy how far a sport can actually take you in the world and I am so fortunate to have had a chance to do something as cool as going on the Today Show.