2012 Olympian Claire Donahue scored a gold in London as part of the women’s 4x100m medley relay (prelims). She also took a shot at gold in the women’s 100m butterfly race, finishing 7th overall. The 27-year-old wanted to land on the U.S. roster for Rio for a chance to compete in both events yet again, but the plans didn’t come to fruition. Instead, Donahue wound up 6th in the 100m butterfly while competing in Omaha.
Headed into Rio, Donahue had been training with longtime coach Bruce Marchionda at the South Florida Aquatic Club. Both had made the move in the summer of 2015 in the aftermath of the Western Kentucky University swimming and diving program being issued a 5-year suspension for hazing allegations.
However, with a new quadrennial about to kick-off for the butterflier, Donahue has decided to make another move, this time getting back to her roots in Tennessee. A native of Lenoir City in East Tennessee, Donahue has announced she will begin training with the University of Tennessee starting next week. Although she says ‘she hasn’t worked out all of the details’, Donahue expresses on her blog how she’ll “finally get to wear those orange colors and experience what being a Volunteer is all about. It’s time to start a new adventure. I’m a little nervous, but I can’t wait!”
Below is an excerpt from Donahue’s blog, announcing her move to Tennessee:
It’s official, I’m moving back to Knoxville!!! When it came down to deciding I knew I wanted to be close to my family again. To me that was my first priority. For the longest time I put them on the back burner while I pursued my swimming career. And even though I knew moving back was the right thing to do it was really hard leaving Florida. I love the beaches, I love my new friends, and I hated leaving my 9 year coach, Bruce Marchionda. Bruce has done so much for me as a swimmer and as a person too. Because of him I’ve grown in so many ways. I will forever attribute a large part of my success in and out of the pool to him. It’s going to be weird not having him by my side all the time, but I’m excited for his new job in Raleigh and my swimming in TN.