Abdelrahman Elaraby, the defending ACC Champion in the 50 yard freestyle, has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal for next season as a graduate transfer. He has one season of eligibility remaining, his COVID year, after completing a four year career at Louisville.
Elaraby says that after a roller-coaster year, he needs a “fresh start.”
Elaraby has qualified for each of the last two NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, but only competed at the 2023 meet.
That’s because in 2022, just days before the NCAA Championships, Elaraby attempted suicide.
“It was bold of me to come back to the same apartment, team, and environment where I almost lost my life, but I felt like I owed it to the team as I unfortunately was not able to go to NCAAs last year due to the mental health aspect but also the physical aspect,” Elaraby told SwimSwam.
Elaraby says that he hasn’t shared before, but that his suicide attempt caused him physical injury, not just mental injury.
“I have never shared this before, but in my right arm, due to the IVs and seizures, one my nerves was really injured. It restricted my range of motion, I lost control and feel in few of my fingers, and so I had to work on that aspect for a long time with physical therapy and physicians.
“The Transfer Portal decision was made early, but I was asked to delay it by (Louisville head coach) Arthur (Albiero) to protect the team energy going into ACCs and NCAAs. But I knew I needed a fresh start where I don’t have to be reminded every day (that) I tried to kill myself a year ago.”
As for where he might wind up next, Elaraby says that “I am looking into a few schools that match my goal and perspective and a few of the coaches I have tight relationships with and I understand I can trust that they can take care of me in and outside the pool.”
In Elaraby’s senior season this year, he finished 16th at the NCAA Championships in the 50 yard free, swimming a 19.30 after an 18.96 in prelims. He also placed 28th in prelims of the 100 free. In relays, swam the butterfly leg of Louisville’s 7th-place 200 medley, the leadoff leg of Louisville’s 11th-place 200 free, and the anchor leg of Louisville’s 11th-place 400 free, earning him one First Team All-America honor and two additional Second Team All-America honors.
Best Times in Yards:
- 50 free – 18.79
- 100 free – 41.94
- 100 fly – 45.60
Elaraby has used his platform over the last year to advocate for mental health and speak out about his own struggles. An inspirational post-race interview after his ACC title encouraged others to “(not) lose the war” with mental health. That video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, at least, online.
Internationally, Elaraby won a silver medal in the 50 fly at the 2018 Mediteranean Games and a bronze medal in the 50 free at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics. A native of Egypt, Elaraby is the Egyptian Record holder in the 50 fly in long course meters (23.11), and also holds a pair of short course meters African Records as part of Egyptian relays.
Headed a few miles SE to become a Vol? I hear they have a few good 50 free swimmers
Indiana would be different League but not far away. Could replace Mathias on some relays.
IU also has fellow Egyptian national teammates on their pro squad….
Virginia Tech to swim with another Egyptian legend
Future miami (oh) redhawk???
I don’t know, SIU is building a pretty strong sprint group not much farther away…
Again definitely not going down a level.
He’s definitely not going down to midmajor swimming💀
Going to tampa ?! 👀
Looks like SMU material to me
Austin or Berkeley would be great choices.
Colorado mesa university next 💯