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Florida swimmer Elise Bauer prepares for Olympic Trials

Bauer will attempt to qualify for Team U.S.A in two events
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:52 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Elise Bauer is living up to her legacy as a former TV20 Meldon Law Scholar Athlete of the Year.

The 2020 recipient not only wrapped up her first collegiate swimming season at the University of Florida, but is also attempting to qualify for the summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

As a long distance swimmer, Bauer will compete in two events to possibly earn a spot on Team U.S.A. - the mile and the 800 meters.

The trials were supposed to take place in the summer of 2020, but due to the pandemic, they were postponed until this year. Despite the long wait, Bauer said she’s ready to go up against the best in the country.

“Knowing that I get to compete against them and actually get the chance to even possibly be on the Olympic team that’s just crazy to think about,” said Olympic swimmer hopeful Elise Bauer. “It’s like wow, this is something to really be proud of.”

Bauer admits the toughest part about training for the Olympic Trials has been the lack of downtime between the end of her collegiate season and the start of trials.

“Your training period is essentially cut in half, so it’s a lot to fit in in a span of maybe six weeks after you get done with NCAA’s in college, so you just have to train as hard as you can until you get here.”

While her times in both events are comparable to Olympic standards, time isn’t the deciding factor; It comes down to who’s fastest in the pool. Bauer will need to finish first or second in the three heats she’ll compete in to qualify.

Her longtime swimming coach, Bill Vargo, understands speed is critical to qualify, but so is good fortune.

“I’ve known guys 10, 20, 30 years ago who were the fastest in the world and world record holders,” said Marlin Swim Coach Bill Vargo. “When it came to the trials, they didn’t make the team. They finished third or fourth. So it takes some luck.”

As for Bauer, she admits it would be a dream come true to qualify for the Olympic team, but isn’t letting the pressure of the moment overwhelm her. She’s taking the entire experience in stride.

“I’ve made it to the fastest meet that there ever will be in the country,” said Bauer. “So it’s like, what more can I lose or what more can I do.”

Here’s hoping she makes the most of her opportunity and does her best.

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