Y swimmer ready to chase down Olympic dreams

One moment, Remedy Rule is the elite-level swimmer getting ready for her first shot at a berth in the Summer Olympics. The next, she’s the typical 15-year-old.

“Sometimes I still get the feeling, like, Wow, I’m going to Olympic Trials. It’s amazing, I guess,” said Rule, with a shy smile, a couple of weeks from just having finished her freshman year at Western Albemarle High School, and who in a couple of days will be in the same pool that 2008 Olympics star Michael Phelps, among others, will hope leads them to London, site of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Rule, a swimmer in the Shenandoah Marlins Aquatic Club program at the Waynesboro Family YMCA, has qualified for three events in the U.S. Swimming Olympic Trials – the 200-meter backstroke, 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter butterfly.

Her first Trials-qualifying time came nearly a year ago, meaning she has had plenty of time to work with SMAC coach Norm Wright through what Wright described as a “grueling” training schedule that both hope will maximize her times next week at the Trials in Omaha, Neb.

“She hasn’t taken any breaks this year. She skipped out on a Christmas break that she would normally do. She skipped out on a spring break that everybody else had,” said Wright, who feels that Rule is ready to shine at the Trials.

“Yesterday we had a great practice. She was swimming fast times, fast enough to hit her goals for the meet. And then she came in today, and I told her, OK, take it easy, easy speed, let’s see what you’ve got, and it was even faster,” Wright said.

“We’re really excited about the recovery process we’ve been going through over the past two weeks and the things we’ve been doing to get ready, and the times today reflected that. It’s not really a guessing game. You look at the watch, you see the times, and she’s swimming fast. I feel really good, really excited after today’s practice,” Wright said.

Rule is the fourth swimmer in the SMAC program’s 60-year history to qualify for the Olympic Trials. She doesn’t feel any added pressure to try to become the program’s first-ever Summer Olympian, though. Asked to define what she would consider success at the Trials, Rule said “just taking in all the experiences there, and just swimming my best, and just being grateful for what I’m able to do.”

Her confidence in herself comes, she said, from “knowing that I’ve put in the work, so … just swim. Just let my body do what I’ve been training for. Just believe in myself that I can do it, and that my team and my family and my coaches are all behind me cheering for me.”

And back home, she’ll have the SMAC and Y communities cheering for her just as loudly, if half a continent away.

“This is a great time for celebration for the Waynesboro Family YMCA and for SMAC Swimming,” said YMCA executive director Jeff Fife, who is excited for the opportunity that Rule has to showcase her swimming skills.

“And as excited as we are for Remedy and her accomplishments in the pool, I can tell you that she is just as accomplished, and I am just as proud of her, for what she does out of the pool. She is a phenomenal student, she is a great person. … So it’s very special for us, not just because she’s going to Olympic Trials, but because of who Remedy is,” Fife said.

She’s a well-rounded individual, to be sure, but don’t overlook the significance of what she has already done in the pool just qualifying for the Trials.

“That first cut is a lifetime achievement,” Wright said. “There are swimmers that have put on hold job offers coming out of college and decided to train for another year. I have a swimmer that I used to train that took a year off from college this year, took an Olympic redshirt, to train for this and to try to get a cut. They’re postponing life. In the midst of that, Remedy is going to high school, her freshman year, and is able to get these cuts.

“It’s a huge accomplishment. She’s got the ability, she’s got the talent, she’s got the will to win, and she’s put it all together,” Wright said.

For Rule, the focus right now is on the immediate.

“I can’t believe we’re already here, that we’re leaving on Saturday,” she said, before showing a side of the 15-year-old in the elite swimmer’s body. Asked by a reporter if she planned to approach the Trials any differently than any other meet, she paused for a moment to reflect.

“Mostly the same. I mean, there’s a little more excitement. Because, I mean, I’ll see, like, Olympians there,” she said.


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