American swimmer Dana Vollmer, who gave birth to her 2nd child with husband Andy Grant in July of 2017, has said she is focused on “being at her best at 2020” and “most likely” not swim at the 2018 U.S. National Championships.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, Vollmer said she wouldn’t be racing in Santa Clara, and has stepped back from pool training to spend time doing strength work in the name of injury prevention.
“My focus is on being my best at 2020. The past couple weeks have been very exciting in terms of figuring out better ways to move. I had a bad back injury fall of 2004 that had me dealing with pain through 2010. It’s been a journey seeing how my body adapted to back pain and learned to work without utilizing many major muscles that I linked with increased back pain. Now, 8 yrs later, we are still uncovering layers. Same process with my shoulders after years of swimming. I’ve taken a step back from intense pool training and have been focused on strength and retraining movement patterns that I know will improve my overall health and my strength in the water. I’ve been so thankful to be injury free in these later years of my swimming career and I get so excited learning how to better use my body and ways to apply that to my strokes! I will not be competing in Santa Clara this weekend and most likely not at Nationals. It’s unfortunate that next years World Championship team is selected this summer as I expect my racing to be in full swing again by then, but I am confident in my plan to be the best at 2020!”
The 30-year old has raced once since giving birth last year, when she swam in the 50 free at the 2018 Pro Swim Series meet in Austin. She swam 27.53 in prelims and 26.37 in finals. She only swam once in 2017 as well, at the Pro Swim Series stop in Mesa, where she clocked a 27.59 in prelims while 26 weeks pregnant.
Vollmer is a 5-time Olympic champion and 7-time Olympic medalist, having won the 100 fly individually at the 2012 Olympics, taken bronze in the same in 2016, and earned 5 total relay medals. She’s also a former World Record holder in the 100 LCM fly. In 2012, she became the first swimmer under 56 seconds in the event, and that record stood until Sarah Sjostrom broke it in 2015.
An absence from this summer’s National Championships is especially significant, because not racing at this year’s Nationals also eliminates a swimmer from next year’s World Championships. That means that a swimmer who misses this summer’s National Championships can’t swim at the 2019 World Championships, or the 2019 Pan American Games. That means no big long course championship before 2020.