Bryant University Swimmer Drops 19 Seconds in 500 Free, Suffers Stroke

Courtesy: Bryant Athletics

Hours after dropping 19 seconds from her season best (and 4 from her lifetime best) at the NEC Championships last week, Bryant University senior Nicole Salzano suffered a stroke. Salzano was rushed to the hospital, where she remains and is expected to remain for 4 weeks before “transfer to a rehab facility is even an option,” according to family members.

Her cousin has launched a GoFundMe page, which as of posting has raised $9,243 to help support her family as they deal with Salzano’s recovery and the associated costs.

Salzano was seeded 3rd heading into the final of the 500 free after her 4:59.84 in prelims, but after the seizure was unable to swim in the final. She is a two-year co-captain for Bryant. She finished 6th in the 500 free, 6th in the 100 back, and 5th in the 200 back at last year’s NEC Championship meet.

The Bryant women went on to win their first-ever NEC conference title on Saturday.

From the GoFundMe page:

Our cousin, Nicole Salzano, suffered a stroke on Thursday 2/22/18, just hours after competing in Day 2 prelims of the Northeast Conference Swimming Championships. Nicole amazingly dropped 19 seconds off her 500 Free event and jumped from 18th place into 3rd going into finals.

If you don’t know her, Nicole is 22 years old, healthy and smart. She is a senior set to graduate from Bryant University with a business degree after this semester, an athlete at the top of her game, and a 2 year co-captain of her college swim team. She is certainly not the type of person you would ever expect something like this to happen to.

Nicole is still in the ICU, and is expected to be in the hospital another 4 weeks before a transfer to rehab facility is even an option. She has had her family and friends at her bedside around the clock, cheering on her miraculous gains and supporting her through unfortunate setbacks. This tragic event has rattled our family, however we remain firmly optimistic in her recovery.

Nicole has a long road ahead of her, but she is a fighter. She is strong and is already showing her doctors, friends, and family just how determined she is.

Her parents, Jim and AnnMarie, as well as her sister, Nina have suddenly had to put their lives on hold. In this time of pain, hurt, and confusion, medical bills should be of the least concern. We are starting this GoFundMe page in an effort to ease the enormous financial burden from her parents’ shoulders.

We will try and keep this page updated with the most recent information, as possible.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. Any little bit helps!

Nicole’s cousins
– Jamie, Glenn, Lauren, Taylor, AJ, Amy, Kevin, Brendan, Samantha, Danielle, Matthew, Alyssa

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Caeleb Dressel Will Get 8 golds in Tokyo
2 years ago

What was her time before and after?


LOL the girl’s in the hospital and you’re asking about times? Come on man.

Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
2 years ago

To be fair, the headline of the article references a time drop, which is pretty odd

Caeleb Dressel Will Get 8 golds in Tokyo
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
2 years ago

I feel bad for her. But right now I know she’s getting the right help. My question is now to her dropping 19 seconds.


from her absolute best time she dropped from a 5:03 to a 4:59

2 years ago

Best wishes to Nicole and her family. Make sure to post the GoFundMe link.

2 years ago

I hope she recovers and has all the support she needs. times and time drops don’t seem relevant in this scenario.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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