Meet Allison Schmitt, one of the 2016 Team USA Captains, from Canton, Michigan, on her way to a 3rd Olympic appearance. In the video, Schmitt says she swims because she loves racing, that the racing is what drives her. She went full-time to swimming in middle school when she didn’t make a soccer team she was shooting for and decided to quit the sport. Soccer’s loss was swimming’s gain – Schmitt now owns 3 Olympic gold medals, including the 2012 Olympic title in the 200 free. In Rio, she’ll focus on relays, with swims due in the 400 and 800 free relays.
From her SwimSwam Bio:
“200m freestyle” and “Allison Schmitt” are practically synonymous. The middle distance queen has won a total of 14 international medals, including nine gold. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Schmitt grew up with her parents and four siblings in Canton, Michigan. Initially, swimming was buried in the long list of other sports that comprised 9-year-old-Schmitt’s repertoire, but she remained dedicated and joined Ann Arbor Swim Club (AASC) at age 11.
AASC became Club Wolverine in 2006, and Schmitt soon began training with Michael Phelps and his coach, Bob Bowman. While Schmitt attended Canton High School, her true potential began to show at a 2007 Junior National meet. After graduating in 2008, Schmitt moved with Bowman and Phelps to Baltimore, Maryland and trained at North Baltimore Aquatic Club.
Schmitt made her Olympic debut that summer at the Beijing Games, swimming the 200m freestyle and the 800m freestyle relay. She placed ninth individually and helped her teammates (Natalie Coughlin, Caroline Burckle and Katie Hoff) to bronze medal and American record in the relay.