While he likely didn’t know it at the time, Holloway, who recruited both to swim at NC State, brought the pair together.
“He saw how much we both grew with each other,” Stewart told SwimSwam the day after the wedding. “He coached me for a year before I met Olivia, and has seen me grow so much as a person since meeting her. We knew we wanted a very light hearted and funny ceremony, and that’s exactly what Braden was able to give us!
“It was the perfect day and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Stewart and Calegan were married at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island in Manteo, North Carolina on Saturday. Stewart says that he was in love from the moment he saw her at freshman orientation before her freshman year and his sophomore year.
“When Olivia visited NC State for orientation before her freshman year, I told the other guys in my class that I had “dibs” on her,” Stewart recounted in the pair’s wedding story. “Yep, she didn’t even stand a chance.
“Fast forward to August of 2017, Olivia was finally on campus for her freshman year. To say she played hard-to-get is an understatement, hence the next two words that became part of our story: “long game”. These words became a running joke amongst the guys in my class–Olivia would never go for a guy like me.
“Fast forward 2 more months, to October of 2017. The mustache had finally won her over, and Olivia agreed to go on a date with me to Goodberry’s frozen custard. I’m still not sure what she was thinking, but I’d say I got the sweet end of that deal.”
The pair were engaged on July 4 last year.
Stewart is the current World Record holder in the men’s 100 meter backstroke in short course and a member of the US National Team.
Calegan swam her last meet at the 2021 NCAA Championships, where she finished 13th in the 100 breaststroke, capping her career with her 4th All-America honor.