WATCH: Memorial Video for Drury Swimmer Wen “Ariel” Xu

Last week, on February 14th, Drury University held a school-wide memorial service for fallen swimmer Wen Xu, also known as Ariel, who passed away during a swim practice. Xu was the 2016 NCAA Division II Champion in the 50 yard freestyle.

The video includes clips of her coaches and teammates talking about her and her memory.

“Just an amazing young lady,” Drury coach Brian Reynolds said. “I think anyone who can come halfway across the globe and can start studying and living in a completely different culture and find the success that she had was truly one of the most amazing things about her.”

“She would literally do anything, I know she would do anything for me,” teammate Sophia Nelson said. “To have a friend like that, and to have a teammate like that, is so much more than being the fastest swimmer in the nation. I just think (that) her loyalty and her love for everyone spoke so much louder than any swimming could do.”

“As the years have gone on…she grew so much, and was just sassy and spunky,” Nelson continued.

The video concludes with pointed words from Reynolds:

“I think we should all remember Ariel in our hearts and our minds as we would with everybody that have had such an impact on our lives and that we love.”

A video tribute to Xu played during the service can be seen below, as can the entire hour-long memorial service.


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Lane Four
4 years ago

Absolutely heart breaking. Rest in peace. May you be in paradise.

Swim mom
4 years ago

This is just too sad. I cannot imagine how all these people who loved her so much must be feeling. I will be thinking of Ariel, her family and her team in the coming weeks.

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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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