Going for gold
Sophomore duo headed to London
Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 19:07
The Olympic dream is becoming a reality for two sophomore standout swimmers.
Breeja Larson and Cammile Adams will represent Texas A&M University and the U.S. at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Both swimmers are the first Aggies to ever qualify in an individual event for the U.S. Olympic swim team.
Larson, sophomore general studies major, was the first of the two Aggies to qualify when she won the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:05:92 and succeeded in out-swimming the world’s fastest breaststroker and two-time reigning world champion Rebecca Soni.
“I’m still kind of processing it,” said Larson. “It’s just wonderful. It hits me step by step that I’m moving to the next level now. It’s cool to know that all the hard work you put in, all the sacrifices you made to get to your goals finally paid off.”
Adams, sophomore education major, qualified for the team two days later winning the 200m butterfly by more than a second with a time of 2:06:52.
“I guess it really has been a dream come true,” said Adams. “Signing the telephone booth, seeing your name up on the score board and up next to all the other Olympians, it’s just such an awesome feeling.”
Despite being only being sophomores in college and competing against professional swimmers and previous Olympians, Larson and Adams haven’t been fazed.
“They’re just normal average people,” said Adams about the field of competition. “I really didn’t get too nervous at all this meet actually. I was just having fun.”
As the Olympic Games approach, both Aggies have set high expectations for themselves as well as other USA team members.
“I want a gold,” Larson said. “To do my best time would be my goal really and to go faster.”
“Just swim fast,” Adams said. “Honestly that sounds cheesy, but I’m excited for the meet in general, so just seeing how fast the rest of the USA swimmers go is going to be a lot of fun.”
Although these Aggies may make it look easy, getting to this point in their swimming careers has taken complete commitment and dedication.
“They’re both really hard workers,” said Texas A&M assistant swim coach Tanica Jamison. “They come in and they do exactly what we ask and they give 100% every time they’re in the pool.”
As swim captains at A&M, Larson and Adams continue to set a good example for the rest of the team.
“To see them achieve such a great goal really motivates our team for the upcoming season,” Jamison said. “They’re leading in the pool and out of the pool as well.”
Even though the Aggie swimmers will be training outside of Texas until the Olympics begin, both will have a piece of home and familiarity traveling with them since the Texas A&M head women’s swim coach Steve Bultman has been chosen as the assistant coach for the U.S. swim team.
“I think we have the best advantage of having him there for us,” said Larson. “He knows our stroke and he’s the one who’s been critiquing it for two years now and so if there’s anything he knows I need help with, he’s right there.”
But Bultman won’t be the only one rooting for the Aggie swimmers in London. The Aggie Network has been living up to its reputation of supporting fellow Aggies.
“A&M has put so much support behind Breeja and I since we made it,” said Adams. “It’s been such an awesome experience. I’ve had Aggies come talk to me. One guy came up and said ‘Class of ’58, I’m just so excited for you guys.’”
Moments like that make Larson and Adams happy to represent not only the U.S., but Texas A&M at the Olympics.
“It’s really rewarding,” said Larson. “I’m just so glad that I can represent the Aggies because the Aggie Network is so huge and I know the support system is awesome.”
As for the future careers of each of these A&M athletes, anything seems possible.
“The sky is the limit for both of them,” said Jamison. “They both have really high expectations for themselves. They want to succeed and they want to excel and they’re doing things in the pool and out of the pool to help them succeed.”