Shaine Casas And Finally Breaking Through To Make The U.S. Olympic Team

Courtesy: Charles Hartley

Some 20 years ago I was driving up a highway in New Jersey when a new U2 song came on I had not heard called “Beautiful Day.” I remember the feeling when I heard it because right then I was only a few days away from finishing a grueling master’s of business administration program.

Hearing that song I remember feeling one of the most euphoric and satisfying mental and physical sensations filling me up. It felt beautiful. It felt like a beautiful day.

You see I never thought I would ever get a chance to get an MBA after a difficult undergraduate experience that left me believing I wasn’t very intelligent. I found it hard to graduate from college so there was no reason to think I would ever get a graduate degree.

But I got more focused and disciplined and excelled in that program and was feeling amazed at myself, frankly, for having worked so many hours, often late into the night and sometimes all night, to do the intellectually taxing work to get an MBA. All while working full-time.

I had made it and there was no denying or doubting or second-guessing what I had done. It was a beautiful day for reasons much deeper than the sun shining at that moment.

I think of that moment now as I recall watching Shaine Casas last night at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials after he placed 2nd in the 200-meter individual medley and finally qualified for the Paris Olympics.

After so many years of imagining it happening but it not happening. After swimming slower than expected. After wondering if all the swimming he had done would ever result in being an Olympian. Self-doubt, I assume, was a part of it for him as it is for most if not all of us.

Watching him after realizing he had done it, I saw the unforgettable, spontaneous, purely ecstatic moment when he grabbed the starting block bars and put his head near them, and had a moment to himself.

It was a beautiful sight, a beautiful day, and a beautiful night for this swimmer.

It was what striving to participate in the Olympics is about: Falling short, getting back up, trying again, and again, and again, and then one day if it all comes together making it.

Count me in as a Shaine Casas fan for life. No matter what he does at the Paris Games, he has shown me he can come through when it counts the most, and when he did he let go of how he really felt and that’s what life is all about.

About Charles Hartley

Charles Hartley is a freelance writer based in Davidson, NC. He has a masters degree in journalism and a masters degree in business administration.

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SJS
26 days ago

This was such a joy to watch. Good for him and best wishes for a great showing in Paris.

He has so much potential.

T B
27 days ago

Not sure if this has been discussed elsewhere, but just realized that Shaine’s fly split in the 200 IM final was almost as fast as Dressel’s first 50 in the 100 fly final. 🤯

Shaine’s first 50 of 200 IM final: 23.79
Dressel’s first 50 of 100 fly final: 23.53

If event order were different, hard to imagine Shaine not making the team in 100 fly as well.

EXCALIBUR
27 days ago

One of the most Heart felt Fullfilling Breakthrough swims of these incredible Us Trials

YGBSM
27 days ago

Noticeable by his absence on this thread is the poster has who repeatedly dubbed Casas as the “Seller of The Century”. I guess the words “I was wrong” are also not forthcoming.

Good for you, Shaine. Well done.

Andrew
Reply to  YGBSM
27 days ago

In fairness to my glorious king real Crocker 50.40, Casas could’ve gone 2 seconds slower than his PB and still made it

Post grad swimmer
27 days ago

Swimming

Reid
27 days ago

tangentially related, just looked at Carson Foster’s Wikipedia and someone edited his measurements to 5’6” 183 lol, certified tuna can. How tall is he actually, 5’11”?

bigNowhere
Reply to  Reid
27 days ago

5’11” sounds about right.

saltie
Reply to  Reid
26 days ago

ive seen him IRL, hes probably about 6’2

for some reason he looks short on TV

Helk bengur
Reply to  saltie
20 days ago

Foster 1,84
Casas 1,94

Tracy Kosinski
27 days ago

Best emotional execution after his race. You really felt the relief for him in making the team. Now he feels like he can do anything 💪💪💪

Cate
27 days ago

I’m so happy for him. He’s had a bit of a rough go of it as a kid with his father dying in the line of duty. He doesn’t come from a family that’s flush with cash like a lot of swimmers.

Post grad swimmer
Reply to  Cate
27 days ago

A lot of swimmers come from families with flush of cash?

Guy
Reply to  Post grad swimmer
27 days ago

Yes, Texas and Cal only have so much scholarship money to go around. A lot of parents of successful swimmers pay a good bit to see their kids succeed at the best programs.

Andrew
Reply to  Post grad swimmer
27 days ago

New Jersey kids that go to cal not taking any scholarship money.

This is surprising to you? lol

bigNowhere
Reply to  Post grad swimmer
27 days ago

It’s a classic “country club” sport. I don’t think very many truly poor families produce elite swimmers.

ScovaNotiaSwimmer
Reply to  Post grad swimmer
27 days ago

Lol, absolutely.

Virtus
Reply to  Post grad swimmer
25 days ago

Yes? Are u serious?

Bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  Cate
27 days ago

Pretty sure that’s why he didn’t go to UT from the start. Texas’ 2018 class was stacked and I’m assuming Eddie didn’t have enough money to get Shaine too