AUSTIN (KXAN) — The U.S. National Artistic Swimming team will compete for a spot in Tokyo Thursday morning. The team is in Barcelona, Spain, for the FINA Artistic Swimming Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament.
Several national teams have already qualified, and there are three remaining spots. If the U.S. earns a spot, it’ll be the first time the team has qualified for the Olympic Games since 2008. The team consists of 11 women, including Abby Remmers from Sugar Land.
“Already now [the team] talks about it like we’ve already made it, because if you’re going to go in with a negative mindset then you might as well not do it, so we always say when we become Olympians, not if,” she said.
The 20-year-old said it all started when she was channel surfing with her dad one day and they came across artistic swimming — the sport formerly known as synchronized swimming.
“My dad was like, ‘I dare you to do that,’” she remembers fondly. “I’m a very competitive person. I like to show people up.”
Remmers was just nine years old and before she knew it, she was enrolled in a Houston-area club. At the time, Remmers was big into speed swimming, gymnastics and ballet — a combination that would help her succeed.
“It’s not just speed swimming where you’re just looking at a black line underwater and swimming back-and-forth — that just gets boring by the end of the day,” she said. “It’s not just gymnastics with all the injuries and I really like the water, so it just kind of had all the sports combined and I just fell in love with it.”
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The team has worked on two choreographies — a robotic theme and another routine they say encompasses the struggles we have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We came up with it as an entire group. It kind of just came out of us — the movements that we were doing,” she said.
The finals for the FINA Artistic Swimming Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament are this weekend.