US National Teamer Emma Nordin Retires From Swimming

US National Team swimmer Emma Nordin has announced her retirement from competitive swimming after racing at her last NCAA Championship meet in March.

Nordin graduated Summa Cum Laude (which at Arizona State means a GPA above 3.80) last spring with a degree in Bioscience and a focus in neurobiology, physiology, and behavior and is currently in graduate school at Arizona State.

Nordin is a member of the USA Swimming National Teams in both the 400 and 1500 meter freestyles. She finished 5th in the 400 free at the 2021 US Olympic Swimming Trials, and her season and lifetime bests of 4:04.60/16:01.37 from the Pro Swim Series meet in Indianapolis in May of 2021 earned her a spot on the National Team.

The path to spots on international rosters in her best events, the distance races, are crowded. Besides Katie Ledecky, who is the World Record holder in the 400, 800, and 1500 meter freestyles, Leah Smith and Paige Madden swim those races, as do a number of very young contenders like Katie Grimes and Bella Sims of the Sandpipers of Nevada.

Still, Nordin’s best time in the 400 free would have finished 2nd at the Olympic Trials last year and put her on the Olympic Team if she had matched it in the event final.

Nordin’s best season in college was her junior year in 2019-2020. She was the Pac-12 Champion in the 500 free that year and was seeded 1st in the 500 free headed into the NCAA Championship meet. That meet was eventually canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Arizona State canceled their 2020-2021 season.

As a senior, in her last NCAA Championship meet, Nordin placed 14th in the 500 free and 16th in the 1650 free to add Honorable Mention All-America honors to her resume. Those were among three such individual honors in her career: she was also 9th in the mile at NCAAs as a sophomore in 2019.

Nordin is originally from Carmel High School in Indiana where she was part of a dominant program that won 36 consecutive state titles. She broke school records in both the 200 and 500 freestyles while there.

Nordin was a Google Cloud Academic All-America honoree in 2019 and in 2021 earned a Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarship. The scholarship awards $9,000 to up to two student-athletes from each Pac-12 school annually.


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1 year ago

Like the second swimmer from the right in the 4th pic signaling that ASU is #1!!

1 year ago

I heard the reason she swam so fast was because her diet consisted of beans and oatmeal. Take notes from her.

1 year ago

I am a bit sad seeing Emma retiring…Surprisingly high number of recent retirement can be probably linked to pandemic related shutdowns.

1 year ago

Great farewell statement. Right to the point.
I liked watching her in competition: 4:04 is an achievement to be proud of.
Best wishes.

1 year ago

ASU redshirting the whole team in 2021 hurt Emma…she was at her best about that time. Good luck in your next challlenge

Sherry Smit
1 year ago

Fast riser of the bunch! Congratulations Emma, being on the national team is a huge deal. 400/1500 FR!

1 year ago

congrats on a great career!!

Trip Strauss
1 year ago

congratulations on a great career. as a 64-year old masters swimmer whose license plate is 400free, I enjoyed watching your distance events

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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