Performance Elite Aquatics (PEAQ) Swim Team in Madison, Mississippi has just released a hype video for their Long Course State Meet this week in Tupelo. While they do this at the end of each season, this summer’s video has a little something special – shout outs from over 35 current and former Olympic swimmers, coaches and family.
Fourteen-year-old Maddie Howell has been doing the videos for almost two years now, but knew she wanted to do something special this Olympic year.
“I definitely had a plan this time,” said Howell. “Knowing I would be at the Olympic Trials in Omaha, I hoped that I could get one or two swimmers to give us a quick shout out on their way to and from the pool. I never expected to get the response I did.”
Howell went to the Trials with friends and family and camped out every day in strategic locations to grab the swimmers’ attention when she could. Over the course of the week, she was able to get both Olympic Head Coaches David Marsh and Bob Bowman, and many swimmers including Missy Franklin, Caeleb Dressel, Katie Ledecky, Maya DiRado, and Conor Dwyer. She also nabbed five-time Olympian Dara Torres, and Olympic Gold Medalists Jason Lezak and Josh Davis.
“I knew I had to make it something simple because these swimmers were focused on their mission of making it on the Olympic Team, so I came up with a simple #GOPEAQ that I planned to use for our state meet campaign,” said Howell. “If I could get them to stop, they were more than happy to let me film a quick video. Swimming is a great community and they remember what is was like to be someone like me just gearing up for a local or state meet. I am sure they also waited in lines for a chance to meet their swimming idols.”
Mid-way through the trials, Howell realized just how special the video would be. USA Swimming had started a #SWIMUNITED campaign about the sport’s unity that they touted throughout the week. “These elite swimmers training and dreaming about making the Olympic Team still took the time to stop, take pictures, and sign autographs for swimmers dreaming of their own Olympic Trials someday. That’s pretty united,” she said.
Howell is really excited about the finished product. “I will never be able to top this video,” she said. “Unless of course, my hype video in four years is being at the trials myself.”
Video made by and courtesy of Maddie Howell.