Meet the 2016 USA Olympic Swim Team: David Plummer

Meet 30-year-old veteran and first-time Olympian David Plummer.  After nearly retiring at age 22, Plummer had a breakthrough swim in the summer of 2009 that pushed him to continue.  Following a heart-breaking third place finish at 2012 Olympic Trials, Plummer came roaring back to earn a spot on Team USA in the 100 backstroke last month.  In this “Meet the Team” video short, Plummer talks about his older brother’s influence on his work ethic, and his long road to making the U.S. Olympic team at age 30.

More information on Plummer, courtesy of his official SwimSwam bio:

David Plummer was born to parents Dan and Kathy Plummer on Oct. 9, 1985 in Norman, Okla. A former Minnesota student-athlete Plummer is a World Championships medalist and a 14-time NCAA All-American. Plummer is one of four boys — his brothers Roy, Ryan, and Nate are all swimmers as well.

Youth swimming
Plummer attended and swam for Westmoore High School in Oklahoma where he won multiple Oklahoma state titles. In his senior year of high school in 2004, Plummer posted the fastest high school 100-yard backstroke in the United States.

After college Plummer moved to Ohio to coach the Cincinnati Aquatic Club. He moved back to Minneapolis, Minn. in the fall of 2009 to train and coach at the Minnetonka Swim Club. In the years following Plummer married his wife, Erin Forster, in May 2012. They recently had their first child, a son named William (Will) on Aug. 28, 2013. The three live in Minneapolis, Minn.

College swimming
Plummer attended the University of Minnesota where he swam for four years (2005-2008) and earned his Bachelor’s degree in English. During his time at Minnesota, Plummer was a top contender in the backstrokes at both the Big 10 Championships and the NCAA Championships. By the time he was a senior Plummer was a four-year letter-winner and a team captain.

Plummer was a 14-time NCAA All-American in events such as the 400-yard medley relay, the 200-yard medley relay, the 100-yard backstroke, and the 200-yard backstroke. He was also an eight-time individual NCAA finalist. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2008 with school records in the 100-yard backstroke (46.32) and the 200-yard backstroke (1:43.52).

National and International Swimming
In 2006, Plummer was named a member of the 2006 US Pan-Pacific Championship Team that competed in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. At the 2006 Pan-Pacs, Plummer swam the 100-meter backstroke.

In 2007, Plummer competed at his first World University Games where he finished 10th in the 50-meter backstroke, and 12th in the 100-meter backstroke.

Plummer was asked to compete at his second Pan-Pacific Championships in 2010 in the 100-meter backstroke. That same year Plummer swam at the Short Course World Championships in Dubai where he won gold as a member of the 400-meter medley relay. His performances that year earned him a spot on the 2010-2011 U.S. National Team. In 2011, Plummer raced the 50-meter and 100-meter backstroke at the 2011 World Championships. He also competed on the 400-meter medley relay that won gold.

Plummer’s performances in the 100-meter backstroke continued to be competitive later in his career, earning him spots on the U.S. National Team in 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015. He qualified to race at the 2013 FINA World Championships where Plummer brought home a silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke. At the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships, Plummer proved why he deserved a spot on the 2014-2015 National Team by winning the 50-meter backstroke (24.82) and finishing fourth in the 100-meter backstroke (53.57). Plummer’s performances sent him to Gold Coast, Australia to compete in the 2014 Pan-Pacific Championships where he finished ninth in the 100-meter backstroke in a time of 53.19. Coming up in 2015, Plummer will race at the 2015 FINA World Championships, where’s among the world’s top-20 fastest swimmers in 2015 in the 100-meter backstroke. He continues to train in Minnesota representing the New York Athletic Club.

2015 World Championships
Plummer qualified for the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, where he competed in the sprint backstroke events. In the 100-meter back, Plummer advanced from the preliminary heats to the semi-finals just squeaking by in 16th place. In the semi-final Plummer dropped more than half-a-second, but his 9th place finish wasn’t enough to advance.

A few days later Plummer took on the 50-meter back, which could very well be his best event. He advanced all the way to the championship final after finishing 7th in the semi-final of the event. In the championship final, Plummer added about a tenth of a second to finish 8th overall.

2016 U.S Olympic Trials

The highly anticipated men’s 100 meter backstroke at the trials didn’t disappoint in Omaha. Plummer stormed out in front on the first 50, dipping under world record pace. Ryan Murphy was not far behind, also turning below the record. Over the last 50 the pair pulled away from defending Olympic champion Matt Grevers. Murphy got the the wall just 0.02 before Plummer, but it was enough to punch his ticket to Rio.

*To keep up with David Plummer’s training, coaching, and growing family, read his blog, Follow the Journey, Live the Dream…

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4 years ago

Even though he’s 30 and got gray hair, David is swimming his best times ever.

I admire his toughness, determination and perseverance.

4 years ago

Time to update the Plummer file. I think they have two kids.

4 years ago

I really hope he wins the 100 back in Rio.

About Morgan Priestley

Morgan Priestley

A Stanford University and Birmingham, Michigan native, Morgan Priestley started writing for SwimSwam in February 2013 on a whim, and is loving that his tendency to follow and over-analyze swim results can finally be put to good use. Morgan swam competitively for 15+ years, primarily excelling in the mid-distance freestyles. While …

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