Olympic champion Dana Vollmer is among several Olympic medalists expected to compete at the upcoming 2018 U.S. Winter National Championships. This will be a step in Vollmer’s plan for 2020, as the former world record holder did not compete at U.S. Nationals this summer and has been working on injury prevention and muscle strengthening and re-training as she gears up for a Tokyo Olympic bid.
USA Swimming published a press release today announcing a few names expected for Winter Nationals, which are to be held November 28 to December 1 in Greensboro, North Carolina, with Vollmer being one of the names listed. Because Vollmer did not race this summer, she missed qualification for significant long course summer championships both in 2018 and 2019. That makes championship-style meets all the more important as she has her sights set on Tokyo.
Vollmer has competed at three Olympic Games: in 2004, 2012, and 2016 (and at age 12, she was the youngest competitor at the 2000 Olympic Trials). Her 2012 Games were her most illustrious, as she became the first woman to break 56.00 in the 100 fly as she won Olympic gold. Additionally, Vollmer swam on gold medal-winning 4×100 medley and 4×200 free relays for Team USA.
Vollmer has already successfully made an Olympic team after having a child. She gave birth to Arlen, her first child, in March of 2015, and went on to qualify for Rio in 2016 where she won gold on the 4×100 medley relay swimming the fly leg. That was a landmark medal, as she became the first mother to win an Olympic gold for the United States in swimming.
Last July, Vollmer had her second child, Ryker. She actually raced a 50m free while 26 weeks pregnant with him, and she’s raced once since then, going 26.37 in the 50 free finals at the 2018 Austin Pro Swim Series.
We haven’t seen Vollmer compete regularly since she was in her Rio peak, so Winter Nationals will be a good look at where she’s at, especially now that she’s had well over a year since having baby #2.